IBM Analytics to assist Sonoma County, California to conserve water

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IBM Analytics to assist Sonoma County, California to conserve water


Greentech Lead America: IBM will provide an advanced
pressure management solution to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), which
supplies water to Northern California’s wine country.

The deal is expected to address the pressing problem of
water conservation. IBM claims that the solution provides recommendations for
water pressure adjustments based on usage, weather, and environmental

The benefits of improved pressure management include
reduced water loss, energy savings, and reduced wear on the infrastructure –
alongside an improvement in the quality and turnover of stored water. The
solution was developed by scientists at IBM Research – Haifa in Israel.

The new program, which builds on an existing IBM-SCWA
water management deal, uses analytics technology to help Valley of the Moon
Water District (VOMWD), a purchaser of wholesale water from SCWA to
reduce water loss.

IBM says this is done by optimizing the setting of the
pressure reducing valves at the entrance to their distribution network based on
data from existing sensors as well as from SCADA, billing, pressure gauges, and
flow loggers throughout the water system.

“We are proud to partner with IBM and SCWA on this
First of a Kind Program to field test a non-invasive analytical tool to better
manage water pressure and potentially locate leaks,” said Krishna Kumar, general
manager, Valley of the Moon Water District.

About 880,000 miles of water pipes in the United States
has been in service for decades – some for over 100 years – and can be a
significant source of water loss. The World Bank estimates that worldwide costs
from leaks total $14 billion annually.

IBM analytics provides the engineers with detailed information for recommendations
of optimal settings for each valve based on what’s happening across the entire
system so that valves can be quickly and easily adjusted as necessary.

“We’re helping SCWA and Valley of the Moon to more
efficiently analyze data, anticipate problems and manage resources. The ability
to track water at such a granular level helps SCWA and Valley of the Moon make
informed decisions about how to manage – and conserve – water along its entire
lifecycle,” said Michael Sullivan, director, IBM Smarter Water Program.

IBM and SCWA are extending the new technology to also
enable leak detection by comparing real-time information about the water system
with expected and historical values.

Recently, IBM teamed up
with a research project to develop an integrated environmental monitoring
system aimed at helping oil and gas companies minimize the environmental impact
of their operations. 

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