Water made clearer: Gain visibility across the water cycle | NTT DATA

Thu, 04 July 2024

Water made clearer: Gain visibility across the water cycle

Innovating with speed and scale at the Northumbrian Water Festival

In the water industry, the need for innovation, efficiency, and sustainability has never been more pressing. Climate change, population growth, ageing infrastructure, and evolving regulatory landscapes all make up a complex set of challenges facing water utility companies. That’s why the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival is bringing together industry leaders, technology providers, and experts to tackle the most pressing issues facing the water sector today.

This year's festival, with its theme of speed and scale, will be a catalyst for transformative ideas and solutions, exploring the wider implications of emerging technologies and their potential for the water industry. Given our track record in delivering business value through IT services and digital transformation, we’re proud to take part in this collaboration, working to drive innovation and change in partnership with water utilities.


Industry Challenges in the Spotlight

The water industry is facing unprecedented scrutiny from the public, and this heightened awareness has put significant pressure on companies to address current challenges head-on.

Three key challenges stand out:

  1. Pollution events, whether due to sewage overflows, industrial discharge, or other factors.
  2. Maintaining consistently high standards of drinking water quality, especially given the age of infrastructure and increasing population. Treating water effectively and ensuring its safety throughout the distribution network.
  3. Water loss through leaks and other inefficiencies causes the waste of a precious resource and an economic loss for water companies.


The Need for Transformation

These challenges, together with the climate emergency and net zero carbon ambitions, have brought the water industry to a critical juncture. Facing an unprecedented demand for change and innovation, traditional approaches to water management are no longer sufficient.

The industry is not standing still. Water companies have comprehensive strategies in place to address these challenges and serve customers and communities. As part of PR24 (Price Review 2024), they are planning the largest investment in the water ecosystem to date, with £96 billion proposed between 2025 and 2030.

The ultimate goal of this investment is to improve water quality and enhance environmental sustainability whilst also providing better service to customers and meeting the evolving needs of communities.


Get a Clear Picture throughout the Water Cycle

Today, the water industry is reimagining its entire approach to water management, aiming to create a more intelligent, responsive, and sustainable ecosystem. Central to this transformation is source-to-tap-to-waste visibility as water utilities strive for greater efficiency and resilience. By implementing advanced tracking and monitoring systems, water companies can gain a comprehensive view of their water cycle. This visibility enables better resource allocation, reduces waste, and enhances the ability to predict and respond swiftly to disruptions or quality issues.

Real-time data insight is essential. With sensors, digital twins and IoT devices deployed throughout the water network, companies can monitor water quality, pressure, and flow rates in real time. This immediate access to insights allows firms to proactively manage the water system, responding to leaks, quality issues, or demand fluctuations. It also supports predictive maintenance, helping utilities address potential problems before they escalate,  reducing downtime and repair costs.

Data-driven approaches can also support broader sustainability goals. By using resources more efficiently and improving environmental monitoring, these technologies help water utilities reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the preservation of water ecosystems.


Digital Transformation Expertise

However, to create a transparent and efficient water cycle, companies require expertise in implementing and integrating advanced solutions. NTT DATA's deep expertise and skills in deploying cutting-edge technologies is a key asset for those looking to modernise their operations. We’ve partnered with some of the largest water companies across Europe to deliver:

  • Smart network connectivity
  • AI driven river restoration and characterisation
  • Edge as a service to digitise the physical environment 
  • Data-driven transformation
  • Cybersecurity for water treatment

We are working towards a seamless integration of advanced technologies—high-speed networks, cutting-edge sensors, artificial intelligence, and digital twins—to create smart, optimised, and sustainable water networks.

Partnership throughout the ecosystem enables water utilities to harness this data-driven potential for scale and speed. Together, we can turn unstructured, voluminous data into actionable intelligence, driving improvements across the entire watercycle. By combining technological advancements, culture and skills with data-driven insights, we support water utilities to navigate the complexities of modern water management more effectively and at scale.

If you would like to find out more about how to make water clearer, please contact us or visit us on 8-11 July at the Northumbrian Water Festival.

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