SWAN, the Smart Water Networks Forum, is a global organization of water professionals dedicated to bringing innovation to water. The members compose a veritable Who's Who of industry innovators and we're proud to announce that Gary Wong, Industry Principal for Water at OSIsoft, has been appointed chairman for North America.
Water historically has been a conservative industry and for good reason. Water utilities provide an essential service 24 hours a day to virtually everyone within a service territory. Budgets are tight. Some of their equipment dates back to the 19th century and a lot of the infrastructure is underground. Flawless execution isn't just the expectation. It's the norm. Compared to water utilities, digital companies like Netflix have it easy. They won't have to answer to a public utilities commission if they have an sustained, unexplained outages.
Technology and collaboration, though, has been accelerating and changing the picture. Tasmania Water recently discussed how it has developed ways to reduce the risk of sewer overflows. White House Utility District in Tennessee found a leak spilling $300,000 worth of water a year (and that locals thought was a stream) with PI System data and smart meters: a three year program has saved millions. Yorkshire Water time-shifts processes to curb peak power. Industrial companies are investing in systems for recycling more of their process water.
We serve over 150 utilities that in turn serve over 250 million customers. And it's just a start.
"The opportunities are vast, and North American water utilities are becoming much more aware of new technologies, sensors, and smart water networks,” Wong told Water Online. “But I still say, overall, the speed of adoption can be much faster. There are still some barriers.”
Read more of the interview here.