Integration of GIS and IoT

The American Water Works Association indicated that 237,600 water line breaks each year in the U.S. and cost public water utilities approximately $2.8 billion annually. Further, aging and leaky pipes steal 7 billion gallons each day from our water systems.

According to Cisco, the number of devices connected to the Internet exceeded the total population of the world in 2008. Twenty quintillion (1018) bytes of data are being generated every day. According to various projections, by 2020 we will have 50 billion machines, each with their unique IP address, talking to each other. Humans will be downloading about a gigabyte of data every day. At the same time, the number of applications (apps, for the initiated) has become prolific but not persistent because the rapid progress of technology renders many of them obsolete. In short, not only people but things as well have become interconnected. Welcome to the world of the Internet of Things(IoT).

The Internet of Things Was "Born" Between 2008 and 2009

Smart technologies like IoT have started to provide a way to address the problem of wasted water and infrastructure maintenance. GIS tracking the data to find the defaulter area in the system and smart sensor technology has been proven to reduce water leakage, utility maintenance and planning costs. By connecting wireless sensors to water lines that identify leaks based on acoustic, electromagnetic and thermal technology, utilities can quickly locate leaks and damaged infrastructure. The sensor data is captured and integrated with GIS applications that alert and show utility workers the damaged section of water line on a digital map (often on a tablet, ruggedized laptop or other mobile devices). The GIS application allows service technicians to immediately see where the damaged water line is located and any other infrastructures in the vicinity, which saves much time searching for the problem and enables timely repairs that limit damage and impact to surrounding areas and systems.

At Sensegrow, We provide Realtime connectivity for Ztech Instruments for smart water meter. Ztech has revolutionized how municipalities in Gujarat are using low cost IoT flow meters to account for water loss during distribution or by consumers. It identifies sections of distribution lines or communities that have abnormal consumption of water. A lot of these municipalities have also rolled out community engagement programs to target communities that are using more water per household. Cellular network based IoT devices make it possible for municipalities and water utilities to roll out this solution at a low cost without having to layout a fiber optics based network.

Newer flow meters from Ztech also come with the option to connect acoustic sensors that can be used to display sound levels which are an indication of water leaks. Water leaks in underground, pressurized pipes make a distinct noise depending on the size, material, soil profile and pressure. The loudness of the leak acoustic signal is higher for higher water pressure and vice versa. Strategically placed acoustic sensors can even help identify smaller leaks that might not be detected by water accounting and balancing alone. Continuous online acoustic leak detection can be more cost effective than other more sophisticated leak detection technologies and IoT enables this process to be done on a continuous basis.

You can read more about acoustic leak detection here.

Benefits of InstaMsg:

  • 100% accounting of water resources and consumption.
  • Alerts are sent to consumers when water consumption pattern is different than the normal consumption.
  • Utilizes low cost cellular network, no need to invest in optical fiber infrastructure.
  • Identify communities that have more than normal water consumptions.
  • Identify leakages via water balancing and accounting.

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