As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for clean water. Unfortunately, climate change, increased global consumption, and pollution has brought things to the point where more clean water is needed than what is supplied. This puts a heavy pressure on water utility services to look for ways to become more efficient, since water scarcity also has a significant effect on public health, on other industries and on worldwide economy as a whole.
One aspect of water utility services that could always use an improvement is information gathering. With various factors that can negatively affect the amount of water production, efficient information gathering and transmission can go a long way in cutting down response times to various issues, thus minimizing wastage of resources. For example, information about a leak occurring in the mainline can be addressed as soon as possible if there is a quick way to relay the information to the repair crew. With the help of industrial wireless broadband technologies and Internet of Things deployments (IoT), water utility services can be more efficient than before.
There are plenty of ways in which wireless broadband can have a huge impact on water utility services. Here is a glimpse of how the technology can be applied to different aspects of the production of fresh water.
More Effective IoT solutions
For fresh water production plants and distribution facilities, smart devices capable of relaying information automatically from one site to another is essential to making sure production remains consistent despite the occurrence of issues. Once sensors in one plant start detecting a decrease in production of fresh water, for example, information can be relayed to another plant so that production in that plant can increase to compensate for the issue by producing more water until problems in the first site are fixed.
Because some water plants are located in areas where establishing wired internet coverage is impractical, the best option for them to stay connected is by using wireless broadband solutions. Compact, cost-effective, and easy to deploy, wireless broadband technologies allow multiple plants, devices, and to personnel coordinate the production and distribution processes regardless of their location.
Engineers working on monitoring and maintenance of water plants often have to resort to 3G/4G connections to keep their internet-capable devices updated with the information necessary to keep plants running smoothly. Unfortunately, some water plants are located in areas where mobile broadband is inconsistent or in extreme cases, nonexistent.
By using wireless broadband technology to provide DSL or fiber optic-level reliability, plus strategically-placed WiFi hot spots around a facility’s premises, it’s possible for water plants to significantly cut down on connectivity costs by letting multiple devices access the internet through a single subscription.
While relatively unknown to many, sabotage and criminal activity pose a common threat to water utility services. Unauthorized people can compromise the integrity of equipment and facilities, or stored water may be stolen and sold for personal profit. With wireless broadband, it’s possible for security cameras to be placed almost anywhere, providing better visual coverage of the facilities. Furthermore, industrial-grade wireless broadband also allows for bandwidth that enable facilities to process other bits of information such as data from facial scanners and higher resolution videos from security cameras.
Wired internet options are often leased from telecommunication service providers. As the years pass, these conventional wired options get phased out and replaced by more advanced alternatives. Unfortunately, these alternatives can become too expensive, making them impractical for 24/7 operation in water plants.
By using private wireless broadband to stay connected, utility companies can keep the same (or even better) level of connectivity at a fraction of the cost. Also, private wireless broadband services offer a better degree of control over bandwidth since conventional wired options often have to impose a maximum limit to keep bandwidth distribution fair for all users in an area.
Water is easily one of the most precious resources available, which is why everything has to be done to make sure there’s enough fresh, consumable water flowing for everyone. Despite the various threats that aggravate water shortage, wireless broadband along with other innovations in fresh water production and distribution will be instrumental in turning the tide against the threat of water shortage.