How one utility uses a digital twin to manage real-time drinking water distribution

How one utility uses a digital twin to manage real-time drinking water distribution

Operators need to efficiently manage drinking water networks, but they often lack visibility into their systems to make data-driven decisions. Learn how one utility is using hydroinformatics and a network digital twin to improve operations.
A lack of visibility into a water network can lead to a number of costly problems. For example, the cost of water lost through leaks and breaks (real loss) is estimated at $14 billion per year worldwide. Apparent loss, water lost via theft or metering inaccuracies, is millions more.
And the impact is not just monetary. Water utilities face similar challenges with an inability to accurately monitor water age in the network. The longer water stays in the network after treatment, the greater risk there is for deteriorated water quality.

Water network optimization in Nashville

Metro Water Services (MWS), located in Nashville, Tennessee, operates a complex water distribution system with over 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) of water mains. It manages two water treatment plants processing 90 million gallons (34,000 cubic meters) of water per day, and 56 water pumping stations.

Recently, while reviewing digital twin data provided by Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua’s Network Real-Time Decision Support application, rooted in digital twin technology, MWS found that the water age at a particular tank was significantly higher than expected – and climbing over time. Armed with this insight, the utility decided to reduce the tank fill lower limit by just three feet (about one meter).
Once this change was implemented, operators were able to monitor real-time data to confirm that the water age in the tank decreased and then stabilized. Thanks to advanced hydraulic modelling, coupled with machine learning to create a digital twin, the utility could continue to deliver safe, high-quality drinking water to its community.

The utility can now quickly detect anomalies within its distribution network and take proactive measures to prevent system disruption and customer complaints.

Digital twin technology for better management

Digital twin technology has the power to optimize a water utility’s operations by providing greater visibility into existing systems and empowering operators to make better, more informed decisions. 
Through a combination of algorithms and machine learning, Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua’s Network Real-Time Decision Support uses hydroinformatics to calibrate and optimize a water utility’s existing hydraulic models. This supports the creation of a network digital twin that can visualize operating conditions, even in areas where there are no sensors – helping utilities to uncover critical insights and realize transformative outcomes.
With Xylem Vue powered by GoAigua’s Network Real-Time Decision Support, operators can manage and correct drinking water distribution in real-time, with a clear understanding of water age, pressure and plant mix, through a single application that combines multiple data sources.

Discover how Xylem can optimize your water management

Contact our Xylem Vue team to improve your management of water pressure, age and quality: Get in touch
Learn more about how digital twins can optimize water utility operations in our ebook: Download it now