Edited by: Oliver Grievson, Timothy Holloway, Bruce Johnson
The IWA Digital Water Programme is pleased to present its latest publication: the Digital Water Book. The book, formally launched at the 2022 World Water Congress on 12 September 2022, is a compilation of the knowledge shared and generated so far in the IWA Digital Water Programme.
The Programme acts as a catalyst for innovation, knowledge, and best practice, and provides a platform to share experiences and promote leadership in transitioning to digital water solutions. By sharing experience on the drivers and pathways to digital transformation in the water industry, the programme is consolidating lessons and guidance for water utilities to start or continue to build their journey towards digitalisation. The ecosystem of IWA members across the water value chain including utilities, regulators, technology companies, software companies, researchers and academia will be at the forefront of embracing emerging technologies to solve urgent and costly issues around water service provision (operation, liability, customer services, etc.).
Through the Digital Water Programme, the IWA leverages its worldwide member expertise to guide a new generation of water and wastewater utilities on their digital journey towards the uptake of digital technologies and their integration into water services.
Foreword: The importance of the digital transformation to the global water industry
The pressing need to address the challenges of the global water sector continues to be the driving force behind the digital transformation. In addition to rapidly changing demographics, intensified and prolonged natural disasters, and ageing infrastructure, the sudden emergence of new public health threats has added pressure on utilities, regulators, and governments. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities were forced to accelerate implementation of digital solutions to maintain communication with customers and staff, and to monitor and control essential assets. Despite the unfavourable nature of these events, they provided opportunities for us to observe the benefits of digitalisation.
From International Water Association’s viewpoint, we can see that the digital
transformation is progressing at an impressive rate. So, to help catalyse innovation and smarter water management, we are pleased to share this selection of collective experiences and expert knowledge of our members to encourage you to internalise and envision what digitalisation may look like from your context.
This book is a collection of papers published under the IWA Digital Water Programme’s White Paper series. At the time of writing, we have published nine such papers, authored by our diverse and expert members. The book gives insight into some of the best practices found in digitalisation, combining academic research and industrial applications, and presenting case studies of successful implementation. We want this book to be a guide to utilities, water managers, water stewards, and everyone interested in the digital transformation journey.
The IWA Digital Water Programme is underpinned by the work and experiences of utilities, technology and software companies, regulators, and researchers involved in the digital transformation of the water sector. IWA continues to maintain a space where practitioners, both accustomed and new to digitalisation, can share with, learn from, and inspire each other and the wider water sector. Hence, this publication fits directly into the Programme’s and IWA’s strategy and objectives.
We at IWA continue to lead the global discourse on digital water by leveraging the deep wells of proficiency within our membership. In this era, only by sharing our collective knowledge and promoting collaboration can we ensure the ongoing improvement of our sector. Doing so will improve efficiency in the sector, reduce our carbon footprint, and ultimately lead to improved outcomes in water management and sanitation for all.
– Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy
Executive Director of the International Water Association