Managing and making the most of data has become a major focus in the water sector. To effectively meet the challenges of the future, Victorian water corporations will need to ensure they have adequate planning tools and real-time monitoring systems in place to make sensible and cost effective asset investment decisions.
Proven operating systems that integrate the management of water and sewerage assets will be essential for meeting variables such as ageing assets, population growth and changing environmental conditions.
Highly flexible, adaptive and intuitive systems will not only assist industry in making the best economic asset investment decisions now, but also greatly assist in ‘future proofing’ our communities. These types of systems have been identified as a key area of interest for the industry.
Trials under way
The IWN Flagship Project has three separate technology trials under way across Victorian water corporations - aimed at better utilising the data they collect for decision making at all levels.
With the amount of data we collect now growing, and access to more data anticipated, having systems in place that allow us to effectively use data and become digital corporations of the future has precipitated the collective trials to clarify benefits and identify any pitfalls.
Trial 1 - Waternamics trial
The Waternamics platform (a tool provided by Veolia in conjunction with IBM) is an operational based system that has been utilised in European water utilities and provides for the distribution of data across organisation areas (i.e. operations, customer interface, asset planning, finance etc.).
Termed Project Trident for its three pronged design phase for Yarra Valley Water, Central Highlands Water and Western Water, the initial use cases for various data sets/business processes and associated benefits have now been established. Yarra Valley Water will not be continuing into the next phase due to other priorities, but Central Highlands Water and Western Water are currently preparing for the detailed design phase before the final hold point prior to full implementation.
The use cases identified for detailed design have included real time work order tracking and management, water quality issue identification and management and reporting on Key Performance Indicators. The detailed design process, approvals and implementation schedule are due by the end of June so that a three month run time of the completed system can be achieved by October 2017.
Trial 2 - Asset management data management trial
The trial project by AECOM was initially being developed for Gippsland Water however will now be undertaken by Barwon Water, with Gippsland Water as an observer along with Westernport Water. The initial data analysis and use case identification will occur from the 20th March with a gateway process and a specific hold point programmed following the detailed design.
The project is underpinned by an asset management approach to data collection and utilisation for decision making and will be informed by AECOM’s recent experience with the WSAA Asset Management Customer Value project so that a bespoke solution for Barwon Water can be identified.
Trial 3 - Cloud based solution trial
The trial being undertaken by Green Technology Solutions (GTS) uses a mix of on site and cloud based solution provided by the OSIsoft PI software and ESRI product suite.
The use cases for a number of business issues at East Gippsland Water and Lower Murray Water have now been developed and the required software components will be installed on site by the end of March. The solution provides the analytical and visulisation outputs of the PI system along and with the mapping and geo-location capabilities of the ESRI suite to allow better understanding of data and decision making to occur.
Background: Flagship Program EOI
It is intended that over time, the current water management paradigm will be transformed into an integrated view of operations and infrastructure, creating:
- Situational real time and aggregated time series intelligence for better management
- Better correlation and reporting
- Demand trends and patterns – forecasting (e.g. hourly, daily, annual)
- Advanced analytics for leaks detection, dynamic pressure optimisation and weather prediction and modelling.
A smarter water system will mean leveraging information to make better decisions, anticipating problems to resolve them proactively and coordinating resources and processes to operate effectively.
In 2015, the IWN called for expressions of interest to develop intelligent water & wastewater network platforms specifically to meet the needs of IWN members, the Victorian Water Corporations.
These tools would be expected meet the following purposes and requirements:
Using existing and new water/wastewater data
- Operational data – SCADA systems and sensor-based data
- Maintenance data (Enterprise Asset Management Systems, Computerised Maintenance Management Systems)
Be compatible or interface with existing data systems
- Combined with other sources of data
- Share data between disparate systems (operations, maintenance, asset management)
- Web-based data (weather, social media)
- Geographic Information System (GIS) data (demographics, soil type, etc.)
To provide new insights and support better ways of making decisions (move up the Water Maturity Continuum)
- Visualisation (graphs, charts)
- Analytics (historical analysis, optimisation)
To have a positive impact on water/wastewater operations (and the environment)
- Improve water supply, reduce water main breaks/bursts
- Reduce untreated wastewater discharges, improve capacity, management, operations and maintenance (CMOM) capabilities
- Reduce/optimise energy usage (reduce Greenhouse gas emissions)
These innovative water management tools and technologies would assist in addressing water challenges such as:
- Deteriorating infrastructure
- Non-revenue water, water efficiency and conservation
- Wastewater management
- Increasing customer expectations
- Data mining & knowledge discovery
- Network automation systems
- Real time services
The innovation requires complementing traditional engineering solutions to include data aggregation, visualisation and analytics to stimulate new insights including:
- Volumes of water data exist in organisational silos
- SCADA, GIS, CMMS, LIMS data
- Web-based data (BoM)
Creating a “system-level view” can create new insights:
- For more efficient operations
- For planning activities
Data visualisation can quickly determine trends:
- Analytics applied to basic data can detect patterns and anomalies and may optimise outcomes.
- It is recognised that the successful bidder will potentially be in a favourable position to provide an industry wide solution. This needs to be taken into account in the approach to this opportunity, including in relation to the way in which the final system might be licensed for use by water corporations.