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VICWATER INTELLIGENT WATER NETWORKS FLAGSHIP PROGRAM

Business Situation

Managing and making the most of data has become a major focus in the water sector. To effectively meet the challenges of the future, Victorian water corporations will need to ensure they have adequate planning tools and real-time monitoring systems in place to make sensible and cost-effective asset investment decisions.

The Intelligent Water Networks Program is a partnership between:

  • VicWater
  • 18 Victorian water corporations, and
  • The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The IWN investigates new technologies and innovations to meet common challenges such as population growth, ageing infrastructure and climate variability in a more efficient manner.

In 2015, the IWN called for expressions of interest to develop intelligent water and wastewater network platforms specifically to meet the needs of IWN members, the Victorian Water corporations.

The VicWater IWN Program had the following requirements:

  • The solution shall collect and combined situational real time and aggregated time series intelligence for better management
  • The solution shall use existing and new water/wastewater data:
    • Operational data – SCADA systems and sensor-based data
    • Maintenance data (Enterprise Asset Management Systems, Computerised Maintenance Management Systems)
    • Be compatible or interface with existing data systems
  • The solution shall combine other sources of data:
    • Share data between disparate systems (operations, maintenance, asset management)
    • Web-based data (weather, social media)
    • Geographic Information System (GIS) data (demographics, soil type, etc.)
  • The solution comprising innovative water management tools and technologies would assist in addressing water challenges such as: Data mining & knowledge

Technical Situation

More and more applications are being offered as a service and hosted ‘in the cloud’ enabling organisations to realise many advantages including reduced time to benefit, lower costs, ease of scalability and the ability to work anywhere.  Our vision for the future was to enable VicWater to act as custodian and administrator of a cloud-based, real-time data infrastructure shared by all Victorian water utilities.  Two water utilities, Lower Murray Water and East Gippsland Water, have adopted the solution to date and thus can publish their real-time data to the cloud and key data analysis, dashboards and reports is accessible by authenticated users anywhere via the web.

There are many benefits of this model including:

  • Shared development and maintenance costs bringing advanced functionality within reach of all Victorian water utilities regardless of size;
  • Collective ownership driving development along lines of best fit for all participants;
  • Producing a valuable data asset on which state-wide analysis and modelling can be carried out which may lead to substantial cost benefits (for example collective bargaining for goods and services);
  • Building an agile solution impervious to movement in boundaries or market changes;
  • Positioning all utilities to take advantage of ‘smart metering’ capabilities; and
  • Alignment with Victorian government strategic directives.

Solution

Our solution provides a cloud-based solution comprising OSIsoft PI, ArcGIS and Maximo together with GTS products.  The pilot will demonstrate connectivity with operational data sources, integration of data from other business or web-based sources, organisation of data into an intuitive data structure, analytics using an aggregated data model, integration with AMS and GIS systems, mobility, web-based visualisation and reporting.

The solution publishes the data to the pilot PI system in the cloud in real time, a subset of existing GIS data will be copied into a cloud ArcGIS database, and a sub-set of Maximo assets and locations will be configured in a cloud Maximo instance.

Other relevant business data sources are copied to storage in the PI database to emulate a real-world integration scenario.