The Smart Water Network Revolution: Speaking at Intelligent Cities about Data Driven Networks
This is the second post in a new series we’ll call “CTO Smart Insights” by Haggai Scolnicov, TaKaDu’s CTO.
To view the first post, go here.
When I was asked to speak at the Intelligent Cities Expo in Hamburg about Smart Water Networks, I assumed I would be on a double defensive: apologizing for an industry late to catch up on the data revolutions of the past hundred years, and struggling to demonstrate the value of data in water against a backdrop of data-poor, “conventional” engineering water innovation. I’m glad to say I was completely wrong!
At the water-themed session I was flanked by brilliant colleagues Steffen Schaefer from IBM and Francis Campan from Suez Environnement, talking data-driven solutions from start to finish. With these two industry giants helping to drive home the point (one from the data processing side, and one from the water business), the clear message was that smart water management is data-driven water management. We were practically “singing from the same hymn book”, perhaps not surprising, considering our three companies’ commitment to SWAN – Smart Water Networks Forum. Moreover, contrasting the session as impartially as I could with other sessions on power, heating, transportation, and other city infrastructures, water seemed to stand out as the industry with the clearest “program” (however unofficial) to get the right data and put it to good use.
In this presentation, I defined the “Smart Water Network Revolution” and the benefits it is bringing, talked about how policy-makers and water professionals can and should help it along, and did my best to dispel the four great myths about water utilities and adoption of data technology:
- Water utilities are too conservative or low-tech to adopt such technology
- Water is a low-value commodity, therefore not a magnet for industrial R&D innovation
- Water utilities are not yet ready for “smart data systems”
- It’s too big an investment
Flip through the slides for the reality behind these myths.