Utilities and Water Resource Management

Issues and Problems

One of the primary problems for both developed and developing countries in terms of sustainable development is ensuring that all people continue to have reliable access to water supply and sanitation services. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report, by 2050, at least one out of every four people will be living in a country with chronic or recurring fresh water shortages. Our capacity to match the supply and demand of adequate quality water to specific areas and consumers at specified times and rates is practically life or death. Our houses, factories, towns, farms, and recreation places require water. These systems’ success (i.e., sustainability) depends on the efficient operation of natural and human water delivery systems.

Water scarcity and water quality are becoming major public concerns and growing growth obstacles in cities and countries worldwide. As a result, as stakeholders seek innovative solutions and methods to integrated water resource management, the market for clean, available water, infrastructure, and technologies that treat and transport water is projected to continue to grow fast.

Every time your utility collects, treats, and distributes water — every time a pump begins, a tank is filled, or a tap is turned on – data is generated and distributed. In general, every water management activity generates data that can be used to gain helpful network and business information. The difficulty is to turn this vast volume of data into useful information and distribute it promptly and accurately throughout the utility to all activities and departments who can benefit from it, both inside and outside the utility. A smart water network can provide increased automated process control. Still, it can also fully process data in real-time to produce useful information that can be used to save water and energy.


Use of GIS in water management:

Assessment and management of water resources are essentially geographical tasks that necessitate using a variety of spatial data types. Various combinations of geographic information systems (GISs) and simulation models will be required to expand our knowledge in these domains. GISs provide new solid tools for collecting, storing, managing, and displaying map-related data, whereas simulation models can give decision-makers interactive analysis tools to understand the physical system and determine how management decisions may affect it.

The development of distributed hydrologic models and our understanding of the spatial characteristics of the distribution and transport of water in landscapes have both benefited from GIS. It has also had a significant impact on research into the effects of land use on water supplies. Water resource management necessitates a diverse set of spatial data, ranging from hydrography and water distribution and collection systems, which describe the state of water resources, to terrain, climate, soils, and land use, which influence the quality and movement of water.

Simply put, data from a well-connected system is accurate, secure, and timely, allowing the utility to make better decisions in less time. The smart water network’s cross-departmental nature even enables the utility to take preventive actions in locations where it was previously impossible. Water leak management is a good example because a leak frequently affects multiple departments. When a utility uses a smart water network, it has access to accurate data that can assist prevent leaks and accelerate their detection and repair when they occur, saving money and water.

GIS also aids in the monitoring of surface and subsurface water quality by measuring oxygen, pH, and bacterial concentration, among other things. It also measures turbidity and water flow rate.


Improved leakage and pressure management: Around 40% of pure water is lost owing to leaks, according to utilities all over the world. Smart water networks can reduce the amount of money lost on manufacturing or acquiring water, utilizing energy to pump water, and purifying water for distribution by minimizing the amount of water leaked.

Strategic prioritization and allocation of capital expenditures: Dynamic asset management solutions can save up to 15% on capital expenditures by strategically directing investment. Utilities need access to information to understand better the developing status of their network assets, particularly pipes, to reduce the gap between required capital investment and available funding.

Streamlined network operations and maintenance: By installing smarter that gives essential data via remote functions, utilities can save up to 20% on vehicle and labor efficiency and productivity. By automating duties involved with routine maintenance and management of the water distribution system, a smart water network solution can expedite network operations and sustain care.

Streamlined water quality monitoring: Smart water networks can save up to 70% on quality monitoring expenditures and a lot more in terms of disaster avoidance. A smart water network solution for water quality monitoring would allow utilities to sample and evaluate water quality automatically and intervene promptly to address any concerns that arise.

Transferring geospatial data to the cloud:

The existing data must be migrated to the cloud because of the ArcGIS desktop solution. It was simple to transfer using ArcMap’s Publisher. This was the first step toward establishing a dependable backup system that could be accessed from any location.

The second stage was to use Map Editor to work with the data, which provided various GIS tools such as polygon, line, and point editing and the ability to attach extra data with information about their facilities.

Utilities and municipalities:

  1. Investigate opportunities to learn more about the advantages of investing in holistic smart water network solutions.

  2. Assist technology vendors in testing technologies and determining the advantages of smart water networks.


Water resource management presents massive potential for water utilities to save money, address worldwide concerns about water safety and quality, and prepare themselves for a future with more limited resources. The time is right for utilities to take advantage of this potential, but it will take a concerted effort and coordination from all stakeholders in the water business to succeed.