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5 Technologies to Mitigate The Risks of Non-revenue Water

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Non-revenue water is the unpaid portion of the water after production. Clean water comes to the end-user through a process. At the end of the water treatment process, the company issues the water to the customers. Water is carried through pipes that are often laid underground.

Water loss occurs when the water does not appear in the final billing calculation, which can happen in many ways. Water leaking and water storage overflow are considered “real losses”, and customer meter inaccuracies, unauthorised consumption and systematic data handling errors, and billing errors are categorised under “apparent losses”.

System leakage can occur due to many reasons too. Some of them are poor plumbing, corrosion in pipes and other instruments, physical damages, poor maintenance, and lack of active leakage prevention methods. Another method that causes non-revenue water is the authorised use of unbilled water for social causes, such as water used for firefighting. The water is provided free of charge to a particular consumer group or the water the utilities use for the operations.

Technology To Mitigate The Risk Of Non-Revenue Water

Modern technology is developing fast due to its demand to find solutions to modern-day problems. Mitigating the risk of non-revenue water is one of them. The following five futuristic, exponentially growing technologies will help smart water management systems minimise non-revenue water using their unique characteristics.
IIoT-driven Smart Water Systems
“Smart devices” are changing the water industry revolutionary. The ability to communicate over the internet has allowed smart devices to collect data innovatively. Among the many advantages of devices that use internet of things technology, we can use them to monitor water distribution systems. “Smart Devices” are equipped with extremely sensitive sensors, gauges, and measuring devices. They can detect water flow, water pressure, water temperature, the volume of the water, and water content. The devices constantly capture data that could later be used to develop into intelligence. A smart water management system closely monitors changes in the water flow that homeowners consume. Since the devices are connected to the internet, the device can communicate with the homeowner via the mobile app using the internet. The smart water management system will let the homeowner know if there are any abnormalities in the water consumption. Most intelligent water system monitoring systems are extremely sensitive, so they detect leaks early, which prevents major damage, and the cost of repair will be minimal.
Big Data And Advanced Analytics

Smart devices are constantly collecting data. It is up to big data technologies to process and create knowledge to make them understandable. With the help of advanced analytics, data can be arranged in ways that hidden patterns can be recognised. Real-time data analysis is the key to finding unauthorised water usage. Combined with real-time hydraulic models, unmetered use can be pinpointed. 

Geographic information system-based field and paper audits help us find data voids by validating infrastructure instead of relying on old data. Such practices eliminate errors. Geographic Information System enables best-practices-and-data-verifying tools built into the system to maintain data integrity and achieve real-time metre accuracy.

Big data technology helps the systems to record information such as usage in peak times, average usage details, water-pressure fluctuation patterns, metre readings, water load balance data etc. Once the system achieves a comprehensive categorisation of data, it is easier to pinpoint abnormalities through advanced analytics.

Artificial Intelligence
After the devices collect data, and after the advanced analytics transform the data into information, artificial intelligence is used to understand its meaning. This knowledge is sometimes called ‘water intelligence’. Through pattern recognition, intelligent systems learn about what is typical for the system and what is abnormal. Whenever an abnormality is detected, the intelligent system informs the users and even shuts down the system if necessary. Artificial intelligence is used to train hydraulic models. They help to create explanation and prediction tools. The system can explain what happened in one location in the water distribution network without any instrumental and sensor data. Artificial intelligence also helps to create forecasting tools to understand “what if” scenarios and prescriptive tools for decision support systems.
Cloud Technologies
Cloud technologies are helpful to mitigate the risk of non-revenue water because it allows the systems to have a common ground where they can communicate with each other. Data storage, management and computation are done by cloud-based technologies because they are easily scalable, secure and faster to access from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based technologies facilitate holding large and dynamic databases. Clouds will work in real-time to provide communication between system components; therefore, cloud-based technologies are ideal for providing back support for systems that dynamically monitor a large amount of data. Cloud-based technologies help smart water management systems store backup data, backups of analysing information and predictions of the received data based on each application by acting as a separate layer between the application layer and the network layer of the system.
4D Digital Twin
Water and wastewater treatment is lagging behind other industries in terms of adopting new digital technologies, such as the digital twin technique. Furthermore, although the advantages of a digitally-enabled water company are widely recognised, few have fully integrated digital into their operations. Digital twins are an integrated digital depiction of physical assets that replicate more than just the actual systems of pipes, pumps, valves, and tanks. Aside from interacting on behalf of the system, a smart water management system mobile app may develop smart water consumption plans, regulate water system parameters, produce reports, and so on. User-friendly interfaces and data visualisation make it simpler for the user to grasp the system.

How Do Technologies Mitigate The Risks of Non-Revenue Water

When a smart home water monitoring system detects a leak, the user is notified through a mobile app. If the customer does not reply within the time range indicated by the monitoring system, depending on the severity of the leak, the water supply is turned off to prevent additional damage. Mobile technology will function as both an extension of the person and an extension of the system.

Mitigating the hazard of non-revenue water necessitates a proactive approach using cutting-edge technology. Every day, smart gadgets become more complicated and developed, increasing their sensitivity and capacities. Water quality has a significant impact on our economy. Creating a low-cost, high-efficiency approach to improving water quality benefits the economy.

Cloud-based gadgets that are linked to the internet generate massive amounts of data. AI should be used in such systems to recognise trends and anticipate non-revenue water. Water is a finite resource on the planet, and it is one of the components required for life to exist. To preserve it, we must labour tirelessly.

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