ICT as an Enabler to Smart Water Management

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Abstract

Water management in urban areas goes beyond the supply of drinking water or the collection and treatment of waste water. There is a growing interest in the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT), resulting in a large number of new applications that provide access to vast amounts of information generated by the diverse facilities, unthinkable a few years ago, which greatly facilitate the operation, maintenance and management tasks in a context of efficient and sustainable urban development. In this context water management is particularly important, especially when one considers the huge growth in demand in recent years in developed areas where the water footprint is increasing. The proper use of ICTs applied to urban water management allows gathering data to know in real time about supply and demand and put this information in the hands of managers to help them predictively manage demand, or adapt prices based on the demand. Encompassing every aspect related to water management and monitoring in a global platform is known as IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management). These IWRM systems need a large amount of information to manage, with precision, water systems in urban environments. This information falls under three main headings: generation, transport and consumption; each of them presenting different characteristics thus demanding different treatment solutions. Currently there are numerous initiatives working in the field of ICT applied to water management, some of which will be outlined in this chapter.