Digitally Transforming Water and Wastewater Operations

by , | Jun 7, 2021 | Digital Transformation, Water & Wastewater

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Water & Wastewater Asia: Future-proofing the present As digital technologies continue to advance, there are opportunities for water and wastewater utilities to digitally transform their operations.

In a Water & Wastewater Asia article, Future-proofing the present, Emerson’s Manish Sharma describes how Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies can help in the transformation initiatives.

When asked about the implementation process of IIoT technologies, Manish responds:

“Smart water” is a concept of controlling and monitoring the water treatment and distribution infrastructure using the IIoT architecture and devices. This control system philosophy uses Edge controllers, advanced instrumentation; and enables better monitoring, control and predictive capabilities of the infrastructure.

The improvement process runs the cycle beginning at learn through monitor, diagnose, predict, optimize and back again to learn to repeat the cycle.

He describes each of these process steps:

Method: Know the current system state
Diagnose: Understand causes and effects
Predict: Use the information to predict and avoid problems like equipment breakdowns or critical process deviations
Optimise: Use the information to improve efficiency
Learn: Learn how to forecast operational behaviours

Manish notes that most operations don’t move beyond the monitor and diagnose phases. To move beyond:

…the plant’s control philosophy must include provisions for data storage, IIoT-enabled capabilities, and use of edge controllers to communicate with data clouds. Plant Managers must have clearly defined KPIs like reduction in water loss, energy consumption optimization, and a commitment to move from calendar-scheduled or hour-scheduled to condition-based maintenance.

Read the article as he addresses questions about future-ready infrastructure, project justification in times of shrinking capital expenditure budgets, remote operations, cybersecurity, workforce changes, digital transformation drivers, and barriers from greater digital transformation initiatives.

Visit the Water & Wastewater section on for more on the technologies and solutions to help you achieve operational excellence, minimize energy use, and enhance equipment reliability and operator effectiveness. You can also connect and interact with other digital transformation experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.