Energy transition

How can technology reduce the cost of water treatment?


Water is as precious as it is essential. So now is the time to optimize the way we manage it. Not only to contain our ecological footprint, but also to reduce the cost of producing and treating this resource essential to life itself. The solutions lie with technology. 

  1. Reducing the cost of pumping water

  2. A tightly controlled carbon footprint


According to Unesco, around a quarter of the world's population is now facing economic water shortages due to the absence of the infrastructures needed to abstract water from rivers or groundwater, and distribute it to those who need it. And even in the developed world, water treatment is expensive... particularly in terms of energy, which can account for as much as half the costs involved in operating a drinking water production plant!




The majority of this energy - up to 70% - is used purely for pumping water. So making pump systems more efficient can significantly reduce water treatment costs. But all too often, operators address this issue by adopting what is often referred to as a ‘hope’ strategy. Which means that they hope their pumps are working efficiently, without the reassurance of certainty. These operators schedule maintenance operations on the basis of pump age or total operating hours. For a direct comparison, just imagine driving a car purely on the basis of what you see through the windshield, despite the fact that your speedometer, GPS and other instruments could tell you so much more.


Reducing the cost of pumping water

Reducing the cost of pumping water

In just the same way, there are new technologies available to measure actual pump system efficiency accurately and reliably over time. 

That means an end to flow meter measurements, and all the problems involved in taking them and analyzing the results, because it is now possible to make thermodynamic measurements that provide the essential information local authorities need to reduce their water treatment costs. They enable immediate pump system optimization by identifying the most efficient combinations for each operating range. Savings of up to 20% can be made for the most poorly managed installations in return for a minimum level of investment in PLC reprogramming.

The second lever quantifies the performance gains to be made as a result of reconditioning, replacing or resizing pump systems. The recommendations made are prioritized on the basis of objective ROI and system reliability criteria. This plan is a valuable decision-making support tool for preparing maintenance and investment plans.

A tightly controlled carbon footprint

Optimizing maintenance and investment plans, and extending the working life of pumps by optimizing their performance contribute to reducing the carbon footprint resulting from their production and sourcing.

When this principle is applied on the scale of entire water supply system, neighborhood or even smart city, the result is a much higher level of sustainability. From natural springs to pumping stations, and supply infrastructures to water storage facilities, all available data is fed into an algorithm capable of delivering water efficiently, at lower cost and with the lowest possible level of CO2 emissions.


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