IBM has teamed up with Arad Group to develop a product that will help utilities and water companies use big data and advanced analytics technology to better manage drinking water.
IBM is working with Arad to integrate the latest analytics algorithms into the company’s automated meter system software, which will help utilities reduce water losses, cut costs and better understand water consumption. The embedded analytics is designed to reduce the number of false alerts and provide customers with email or SMS alerts when a leak is detected, IBM says.
Many areas have already implemented automated meter infrastructures to measure water consumption. However, using advanced analytics on the collected data can provide another layer of insight, helping customers and water utilities manage resources more effectively, the company says.
Big data and analytics technology allows clients to manage the large amounts of data from meter readings and sensors and can help identify early signs of abnormal consumption or leaks and improve customer service, IBM says. Field tests of the analytics tool have already show a potential reduction of 50 percent in the number of technician visits.
Earlier this year, IBM launched a crowdsourcing project to help capture, share and analyze information about the water distribution system in South Africa. The project, called WaterWatchers, is driven by a free mobile phone application and SMS capability that will allow South African citizens to report water leaks, faulty water pipes and general conditions of water canals.
IBM began exploring crowdsourcing to address water-related issues in San Jose, Calif., with its CreekWatch mobile app, which is still available and currently being used in more than 25 countries.