In the first part of this 2-part post, we presented four of the seven trends that we believe will change the water utilities and management business completely. The next three trends present what the future may look like.
5. Water will change from a basic right to a business
Urbanization, population growth and the ever-changing climate have sped-up the need to build infrastructure. Simultaneously water reserves are nearly depleted in many places or are already so contaminated that water has to be brought from elsewhere. Recycling and purification of waste water back into drinking water has become the norm in many places in the world. All these in combination increase the need for change. Water resource scarcity increases demand and increased demand increases the price of water. Simply put; the hike in price increases the interest of many organizations switch to develop water management commercially from a business perspective and very efficiently. The evidence for this can be seen in several countries, where water utilities companies have already become publicly traded companies. Water is a great business, because without water there isn’t life.
6. Smart technologies
Of all the water utilities companies in the world, only a few monitor their water grid well. Most water grids are unmonitored and utilities have even ”outsourced” monitoring to users, who report problems and disturbances in water supply and quality to the utilities company. This is completely upside-down. The technology that many communal water utilities use is old fashioned and been built in layers over decades. The new generation of technology will provide a flexible and affordable way of building a more extensive real-time monitoring system, than with the present equipment and devices utilities may have in place. The information gathered from the grid with IoT will be automatically filtered and distributed to the right people or even to e.g. subcontractors. In addition, new technologies enable completely new ways of pinpointing leakages, monitoring water quality, forecasting issues, and multiple types of customer services and applications. New customer services and applications will enable utilities to explore new business models and perhaps increase revenue generation.
7. Developing customer needs
Today, people want to know more about themselves, about their personal economy, about their surroundings and their environment. Thanks to modern technology it is possible to monitor and track almost anything nowadays, bringing even focus to previously less interesting sectors, such as electricity, water and traffic. It is completely normal to track in real-time how choices and selections people make affects their family, home, environment, and themselves. Water usage will be one of those things that will be tracked and monitored e.g. on social media outlets. The tools to provide that user experience exist today, but how to extract that information from existing grids isn’t yet in place. Water utilities organizations could benefit from these developments, by offering money-saving services and paid services to their customers.
Innovesi is the Industrial Internet of Things platform that allows utilities to extract information from their water grids. So utilities not only improve their own operational efficiency, but also allows them to come up with new business opportunities. New emerging markets or utilities that are building their new water grids would be the first to adopt these new tools and processes. They can take that leap, skipping the old and/or current technologies and directly landing on 21st Century. Innovesi is here to help.