Spanish water utility and US aerospace company harness digital solutions to safeguard water supply

Spanish water utility and US aerospace company harness digital solutions to safeguard water supply

2024 Xylem Sustainability Excellence Award winners set the pace as companies turn to smart water tech to conserve and reuse water.

A Spanish water utility and a U.S. aerospace company are demonstrating the power of technology to tackle the intensifying challenges of water scarcity, quality, and aging infrastructure. On this Earth Day, Xylem honors Consorci d'Aigües de Tarragona (CAT) and Mingo Aerospace, (a Sunvair Group Company) with our 2024 Sustainability Excellence Award for utility and industrial users of water in recognition of their work achieving exceptional outcomes in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

CAT received the award for deploying a digital twin to prevent catastrophic failures on a crucial pipeline that supplies water to 800,000 people in Catalonia. Mingo Aerospace was recognized for a closed-loop wastewater recycling system that reduces water use and protects the local Oklahoma community from potentially hazardous discharges.

“Around the world, water managers are demonstrating their commitment to accelerating sustainability practices and recognizing technology’s role in helping them get there,” said Austin Alexander, Vice President of Sustainability and Social Impact at Xylem. “Pioneers like CAT and Mingo Aerospace set the standard for water stewardship with innovative technology strategies that enable their organizations to deliver business and sustainability wins, hand-in-hand.”

Utility winner: Safeguarding water supply in Spain

Consorci d'Aigües de Tarragona (CAT) is responsible for a 52-mile (84-kilometer) pipeline that supplies water to 800,000 people and essential industries in Spain’s water-stressed Catalonia region. Following a major failure in 2020, CAT partnered with Xylem to deploy a structural digital twin to identify leaks and areas at risk of failure. The system has prevented two catastrophic failures and several leaks, and improved maintenance, service, and investment.

“The digital twin is helping improve service for our customers and supporting our sustainability goals,” said Joan Alginet, President at CAT. “We have already prevented a pipe breakage that could have resulted in a 15-day outage for 800,000 people. By avoiding leaks and major outages, we minimize the risk of disruption to our community and businesses, while using less water and reducing emissions.”

Results: Advanced solution promotes many sustainability benefits

  • A transformed approach to asset management that prevents an estimated 25,000 cubic meters in leaks per year. That’s the equivalent of 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools or 6.6 million gallons of water.

  • Prevented two potential major pipe breakages that would have impacted more than 800,000 people and businesses.

  • Saved an estimated 1M€ in repairs.

  • Reduced energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and chemical usage.

Industrial winner: Turning hazard into opportunity in Owasso, OK, U.S.

Oklahoma company Mingo Aerospace upgraded a wastewater discharge system used in aircraft component repair and manufacturing. Working with Xylem, the company implemented a digitally monitored closed-loop wastewater system that recycles potentially hazardous process wastewater, simplifying testing and compliance for the company.

“With the closed-loop wastewater recycling system, we have reduced our reliance on freshwater sources and eliminated the need to discharge wastewater into local waterways,” said Dale Roberts, President of Mingo Aerospace. “We have also simplified our operations because digital monitoring of the wastewater system reduces the requirement for day-to-day manual testing.”

Results: Advanced solution promotes many sustainability benefits

  • Eliminates costly disposal fines and reduced labor costs.

  • Saves 189 cubic meters (50,000 gallons) of water per year.

  • Advances customer’s commitment to corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship.

Read more about how Xylem partners with customers to drive sustainability.