NACWA recently released a white paper that will help clean water utilities take control of their entire operations and improve efficiency by outlining eight areas where increased data collection and analytics can be used more effectively. The resource, Envisioning the Digital Utility of the Future, provides an aspirational vision of how clean water utilities will increasingly leverage data, advanced analytics and integrated systems to reduce operational costs, mitigate risks, optimize asset performance, better engage employees, and ultimately protect water quality more effectively and efficiently.
The technologies and approaches described in the paper are all currently being used by both water and wastewater utilities in the U.S. to some extent, but the document is intended to broaden adoption by more utilities. A critical area for NACWA and its members in terms of additional deployment of these technologies is in monitoring treatment processes and effluent quality for Clean Water Act compliance purposes. EPA has been slow to allow these more sophisticated monitoring technologies, but ultimately, they will prove extremely valuable in securing more flexible and reasonable permit requirements.
NACWA plans to build out a suite of case studies in each of the eight areas to further demonstrate how these technologies and approaches are helping utilities better manage their operations. NACWA welcomes its Member Utility and Corporate Affiliate members to submit ideas for potential case studies. The paper and the case studies will reside on NACWA’s Utility of the Future website.
NACWA would like to extend its thanks to the members of its Smart Utility Task Force who provided much of the content for the paper. Contact Chris Hornback to submit case study ideas or to learn more.