By Sivi Moodley: CEO Macrocomm Group
Nowadays, there can be no sustainable future without an effective and efficient approach to holistic water management. Measuring the flow of water through its cycle of collection, storage, distribution, consumption, and purification is foundational to enabling a data-driven and analytical approach to water management and usage — in various industrial, commercial, residential, and public sector segments
To place some perspective on the stress that is in place due to increasing water demand, the United Nations World Water Report 2021 cited the following trends on future water usage.
(based on studies that attempt to project trends in future water use )…
- The 2030 Water Resources Group (2009) concluded that the world would face a 40% global water deficit by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario.
- The OECD (2012) projected that global water demand would increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050.
- Burek et al. (2016) estimated that global water use would likely continue to grow at an annual rate of about 1%, resulting in an increase of 20 to 30% above the current level of water use by 2050.
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have a broad range of applications, as well as segment specific use cases in the way water can be managed in a sustainable way, including:
- Leakage detection
- Efficient, data-driven systemic water management
- Water quality and safety monitoring
- Quality control on water reserves
- Visibility and transparency on consumption
- Predictive maintenance and speed to resolve risks related to water infrastructure
Deployment of smart water enables real-time water consumption monitoring and measuring, which helps to identify areas of excessive usage and wastage — while at the same time providing the data validation and visibility for behavioural and attitudinal change that is more deeply rooted in water sustainability.
To leverage the capabilities of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), organisations can now shift to platforms and applications that fully automate water management strategies and objectives. Combining the use of IoT sensors and predefined or machine learning algorithms, supply, distribution, and consumption systems can dynamically regulate and control the supply of water. When applied to smart irrigation, sprinklers can be configured to provide the right amount of water at the right time depending on the data relating to soil moisture, air humidity and crop condition sensors.
In the case of mining, sensors can be used to monitor the safety and condition of tailings facilities, where contaminated water is stored and rehabilitated before it is released into the environment or made available for re-use. Mines use a significant amount of water in their operations and processes; failure to safely store and manage contaminated water and tailings was evident in the catastrophe in Brazil in 2019: when a tailings dam burst, in the state of Minas Gerais, and released a wave of mud and sludge that left 270 dead and ravaged local forests, rivers and communities. Further to this, the mine, Vale, is expected to pay $ 1,65 billion and the CEO and management team were charged with homicide.
Macrocomm has taken a comprehensive approach in ensuring that technologies and use cases are developed to holistically manage water in an efficient, proactive, and predictable manner. Our drive to securing a sustainable and available water future has resulted in us developing supply and demand side management technologies that curb the risks associated with poor water management, while also allowing businesses and industries to set, track and achieve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals linked to water sustainability.
Solutions range from smart water meters (including retro fitted options), sensor driven actuators for remote control of usage, sensors for soil and humidity sensors, software platform for smart water management workflow and analytics as well as dashboards and mobile applications that deliver real-time views on supply, distribution, and anomalies.
We work closely with the relevant industry sector players, and partner with them in identifying and mitigating risks when it comes to achieving their sustainable water and related ESG goals (through the application of IoT data driven technologies in a smart and simple way).
Macrocomm is a premier innovation and technology agnostic led provider of data driven digital solutions. Our solutions are not just focused of connectivity and technology, but aim to solve societal problems in a Smart Made Simple way. The Macrocomm group of companies play across all stages in the digital value chain, including devices, connectivity, platforms, application and software development, systems integration and training and development. This enables us to innovate across the digital value chain to deliver bespoke as well as generic solutions in a manner that leverages both scope and scale. We service a range of verticals including municipalities, fleet, agriculture, facilities management, health, mining, retail and logistics. Our key partners include Vodacom, Sigfox, FAW, University of Stellenbosch, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Orange.