The integration of digital and physicalTwins can be built up to transition from relatively simple systems which demonstrate the current operations to more advanced systems which streamline decision making by predicting the need for intervention and issuing warnings. The most advanced digital twins can expand this decision support to the point of machine to machine communication – as achieved by our Aquasuite® platform. Aquasuite® is a digital technology that monitors, analyses, visualises and controls the performance of water and wastewater infrastructure through predictive analytics and machine learning.
The greying workforceThe Netherlands is enjoying a period of peak employment. The competition for the new generation of workers is fierce, with traditional companies such as water utilities competing for talent with dynamic start-ups. As the current generation of asset operators moves towards retirement, companies risk losing knowledge accumulated through years of experience before it can be passed on.
The use of monitors and sensors to capture operating data and create a digital twin allows this experience and knowledge base to be built up independently of the operators, removing the risk of that knowledge being lost as employees move on or retire.
Pressure of populationAlongside the workforce, the environment water companies operate in is also changing. As the population continues to grow, so too the pressure on existing water assets. The added pressure on the built environment means that expansion of an asset is often not feasible, leaving improving efficiency of current assets as the only viable option to meet increased demand. Digital twins can play an important role here.
As awareness of climate change continues to grow there is also an increased social expectation that water companies will better manage their resources. In the UK this has resulted in a major push to cut non-revenue water loss. In the Netherlands legislation is continually being improved and tightened, for example with the recent focus on the need to remove pharmaceutical residues from drinking water a case in point. As legislative requirements grow, companies must improve their grip, and the maintenance of that grip, on their assets.