A safe and secure water circuit is ultimately about improving the quality of people’s lives and of systems, as cities and infrastructure become ever-more complex. We believe that the Smart Places of the future require a Smart Water Circuit, and that a holistic vision is needed to plan for future development. In addition to global sector expertise, this includes using technology to increase operational efficiency of services, processes, people and things by connecting humans and systems with data.
As part of this cross-sectoral conversation, we have invited public and private sector leaders and frontrunners to share their perspectives, experiences and future forward methodologies around the opportunities facing the water sector, and their vision of what the Water Circuit of the Future could be.
Rethinking Approaches to Wastewater
Hein Pieper, Dijkgraaf at Water Authority Rijn en IJssel, believes that the greatest challenge in preparing for the future is in addressing social innovation by shifting mindsets. He says, “We have to completely re-evaluate our approach to waste by rethinking how we use materials. We should be using materials that are infinitely recyclable, in order not to generate any waste at all. This applies equally to water treatment, and we are exploring these opportunities at our new, ground-breaking plant at Zutphen.”
Intelligent Responsive Systems from Source to Tap
Jelle Hannema, CEO of Vitens, explains how the water utility is addressing the challenges of ever-increasing demand for drinking water by leveraging digital solutions for advanced intelligent processes. “I believe that we are in a digital revolution. We have implemented full-scale pilot projects with new digital techniques, to give us accurate data so that we can see exactly what's happening in our network in real time. The aim is to monitor our drinking water production and delivery processes from source to tap, so that we can improve our performance and make our customer communication process even more proactive.”
Overcoming paradoxes through digital transformation
Pieter Sennema, Secretary Director at Water Authority Aa en Maas, discusses the challenges faced by the utility, and the thinking that is guiding its long-term strategy. “Our greatest challenge is to prepare the utility for the future by developing a strategy for long-term climate change. We have to overcome the paradoxes of heavy rainfall events and flooding versus a shortage of water. We are achieving this by working outside the traditional sector boundaries together with our surroundings and our partners. We are facing more risk than ever, and digital transformation is key to helping us understand and overcome these paradoxes through actionable insights from data analytics.”