By Dr. P.N. Ravindra
Bangalore, a name synonymous to the India’s Silicon Valley, has seen much change over the past few years. The metropolis has seen a boom in the IT sector, an unstoppable infrastructure development and ever increasing population influx. Currently, housing around 10 million people, the mega-city has been spurred by rapid growth and has acted as an engine of economic development. This unprecedented growth has led to an increased demand on the natural resources and put tremendous amount of pressure on water supply.
Water is critical to every aspect of our lives – be it food, healthcare, businesses. To meet the growing needs of the population, Bangalore currently gets a supply of around 1,125 million liters of water per day from various sources. The most important resource is River Cauvery, located 100 km away, which supplies 95 percent share of drinking water, which is pumped up a gradient of 300 meters to bring it to the city. Apart from this, water from various reservoirs surrounding the city caters to the needs of the people. However, the water supply in Bangalore is still under deficit as the demand grows exponentially.
But the real challenge does not lie here. The main concern is to ensure that proper supply and equitable distribution of water is available. This is often hindered by leakage and theft. Running such operations effectively without these roadblocks is a big task. The need of the hour is an integrated view of the existing legacy systems and the newer systems incorporated in the Water Distribution System (WDS). This is where we need a comprehensive technology infrastructure, which integrates every component of the WDS right from raw water input to endpoint supply.
A Smarter Water Management system, when implemented, helps build and operate complex water infrastructure systems using technology. IT plays a huge role in water management, some of which are sensing and controlling the consumption, reuse of water resources, monitoring and managing the infrastructure, managing risks and optimizing the available infrastructure to gain efficiency. These capabilities, on other hand, can be achieved with a suitable sensing and communications infrastructure coupled with emerging technologies, which can carry out real time analytics.
The issues around water distribution can be identified, better understood and effectively managed by collecting and analyzing of data. Using analytics will help make sense of all the data captured from water systems, predictive analytics that will help identify and prevent problems in water systems.
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), recently, engaged with IBM to devise one such solution on a pilot basis, an operational dashboard – the command and control center – which monitors the flow meters, provides data on functioning of all components and the amount of water transmitted by each component and that supplied to each distribution system etc. the data from the infrastructure will be reported on the dashboard designed by IBM Intelligent Operations Center. This information will then be transformed into actionable insights, bring about a degree of predictability and can assist in a better control over the water resources.
The outcome will be an equitable distribution of water, critical to healthcare, to food, to businesses, to the people of Bangalore.