In recent decades, due to population growth, economic activities and global climate change, the water amount in water cycle has become irregular and unpredictable. As humans are acutely aware of the importance of water resource and the advancement of technology, intelligent water management system has been developed with an aim to proposing the most effective solution.
Intelligent Water Management System (IWMS)
IWMS is the future of the water management industry, an effective tool for units in the sector to provide clean and lasting water resource. The system can accurately produce results of observation and assessment about the loss situation or the act of management for water administrators and operators through images, videos a well as collected system information data.
Also, the system supplies an analysing forcasting feature so as to produce a standard document, and to propose appropriate preventing actions for unexpected situations.
Demand for water management
In recent decades, due to population growth, economic activities and global climate change, the water amount in water cycle has become irregular and unpredictable.
For the above-mentioned reasons, the importance of water resource has been put at a national level, and even approaching a regional and global level. As a result, there is an urgent demand for more efficient management of water-related activities.
With the advancement of technology, an intelligent management system has been introduced to centrally administrate data sources, instant information for administrating and operating units to effectively give solutions to problems, and send them to the incident responding team at the scene through model and forcasting data modules.
Build a continuous network monitoring plan
Building a continuous network monitoring plan includes the implementation of data collecting sensors throughout the water supply network (from the reservoir system, processing, transmitting and distributing water to water supplying network, to households. The data is then collected, processed and sent back to a control center. Besides, the system is able to automatically set up mechanism, and alert levels for key events, which considerably accelerates the act of monitoring system.
A complete and continuous data collecting system gives a sound foundation to build an Intelligent Management System (IWMS) from the collection and evaluation to analyzation of data as to draw conclusions and propose alternatives for problems occurred under previous setup. This helps improve the efficiency of data usage, reduce subjective human errors, and assists the building of standard predictive models and the optimization of operating system.
Real-time monitoring system
A real-time monitoring system consists of:
·        Sensors/ monitoring stations to measure different parameters such as water level, pressure and quality.
·        Telemetry/ communication system to collect data reports and send them back to the backend system.
·        Backend system to collect, process, and provide cleaned data for Supersisory Control and Data Acquisition – SCADA, Customer relationship management – CRM, or hydraulic modelling.
Sensors and monitoring stations
A water distribution network normally needs a SCADA system to effectively control and monitor its status. In the absence of SCADA system, independent monitoring stations can serve as a substitute to collect necessary related data.
A monitoring station consists of multiple sensors/ probes to record factors like water level, flow rate, pressure and water quality. The sensors/probes operate automatically and can continously monitor parameters in a scheduled period. With such properties, along with a large-scale deployment, these devices have to guarantee convenience in operation and maintenance. Therefore, they often use solar energy in combination with battery backup system.
These sensors are implemented adjacent to the end of the monitoring network of underground reservoirs and water tanks. As for users of offices or households, ultilizing AMRs – Automated Meter Readers will significantly increase state budget, and make it possible to provide real-time data, and to detect small losses. With these above characteristics, payment becomes much more flexible, by card or by e-payment applications, depending on the type of water meter. To ensure efficiency, accuracy and safety, AMR for offices/households is recommended to guarantee basic elements such as automatic meters, battery with up to 10-year operating time, to support security features like sending messages when pervaded or edited without permission.
Telemetry/ communication system
In case monitoring network does not contain a centralized SCADA system, sensors/monitoring stations need to change the method to send operating data to the backend system. The water industry is typical of geographically large-scale distribution network with complex terrain, so the supply of regular information is often through a wireless connection, in which many technologies are used such as Wi-Fi, RF, or GPRS/3G depending on the required scope, environment and bandwidth.
In principle, transmitting/receiving data, within a short distance, Wi-Fi technology or RF are effective to handle speed and cost. As for a longer distance, GPRS/3G technology basing on telecommunication network will offer more privileges when operating.
In practice, the data of sensors implemented in a designated area will be sent to a Data Concentrator Unit – DCU, then this intermediate device would combine and send to the backend system via Wi-Fi, RF or GPRS/3G.
An obvious advantage of using DCUs is that when AMRs are deployed either on a large scale or in buildings, AMRs will use lower-cost wireless network to transmit data to DCUs, thereby DCUs will use telecommunication services (GPRS/3G or RF) to transmit to the backend server system, which helps reduce telecommunication cost for transmitting/receiving data.
Backend System
Backend System includes servers and production-supporting devices, and functions as a place collecting and storing input data. This system contains information of all sensor status, table and report data.
Reduce water loss by leak detection
Once a real-time monitoring system has been constructed, the next step is to build a Leak Detection System. When the pipe system faces leakage, LDS will help to radically detect and locate where the leak occurred, and pass information on to the monitoring system, thus, reduce the Non-Revenue Water – NRW. This will prevent more severe threats like rupture, or system disruption.
A common LDS uses sound sensors installed throughout the network settings. These sensors continuously measure the noise in the pipe, collect the “hearable” data, transmit to the backend system by a SCADA system or wireless network.
When a leak occurs, the abnormal phenomenon will be transmitted through pipes to the sensors in the vicinity of the leak. Based on the different times of receiving signals from sensors, the leak can be accurately located and sent to the control centre of the system.
When it comes to households, using AMRs offers feature of checking the daily-and-hourly-consumed water amount to determine water usage. Provided information about water usage of household families are fully supplied, comparing with practical activities, they can precisely monitor the consumed water amount, quickly detect leakage when the water suddenly changes.
Song Phuong – FIS
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