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Before the Flood: How Technology is Helping Build Water Resilience – Redshift

What happens when “once in a lifetime” weather occurs every few months? Learn how Veolia Water Technologies is fortifying future water resilience.

Water utilities need to embrace digital to better manage infrastructure when disaster strikes.
Water utilities need to embrace digital to better manage infrastructure when disaster strikes.

by Mark de Wolf

  • As the clean-up continues from summer 2021’s devastating deluges in Germany, Belgium, and China, it’s more important than ever for water utilities to continue fortifying their systems against future tragedies.
  • When “once in a lifetime” weather events happen every few months, it’s clear that traditional risk-management techniques aren’t enough.
  • Water utilities need to embrace digital, both to better manage current infrastructure when disaster strikes and to create more resilient plants in the future.

The flash floods in China, Germany, and Belgium took a horrific toll this summer. With recovery operations still underway, talk has naturally turned to the future. How can municipalities prepare for the extreme weather that climate change is triggering with alarming regularity?

Lamia Messari-Becker, a civil-engineering professor at Germany’s University of Siegen, told Deutsche Welle in July 2021 that vague discussions about adapting to potential climate impacts aren’t enough anymore: “Now is the time for engineers. We need real ideas and real solutions.”

BIM and cloud technology are helping improve the management of municipal water infrastructure from Brazil to Bordeaux.
BIM and cloud technology are helping improve the management of municipal water infrastructure from Brazil to Bordeaux.

Fortunately, forward-thinking engineering and construction firms around the world are already on the case. By using digital water-management strategies, they’re improving utility operations to ensure greater water resilience and sustainability.

A combination of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and cloud technology is helping overhaul aging plants and improve the management of municipal water infrastructure from Brazil to Bordeaux. Existing resources are being optimized, and new facilities are being constructed with extreme weather and strengthened wastewater measures in mind.

A Steady Stream of Data

At Veolia Water Technologies—a division of global water, waste, and energy management giant Veolia—the company’s developers are working on new ways to prepare cities for the inevitable. They’re applying digital and IoT technologies and predictive analytics to build water-resilience management techniques such as flood modeling, sustainable drainage design, clean water distribution, and resource optimization.

Although replacing water plants, tanks, reservoirs, and pipes takes years—even decades—Veolia’s digital solutions are helping utilities improve risk management for the infrastructure they have now, even as they plan the water networks of the future.

Veolia’s solutions are helping utilities improve risk management now, rather than waiting years to replace their current infrastructure. Courtesy of Veolia Water Technologies.
Veolia’s solutions are helping utilities improve risk management now, rather than waiting years to replace their current infrastructure. Courtesy of Veolia Water Technologies.

“When we talk about flooding in big cities, it’s usually an issue with the volume capacity of the network,” says Elise Le Vaillant, strategic deployment director at Veolia Water Technologies. “At some point in a sustained heavy rainfall, the network just won’t accept any more. Along with flooding, rainwater can mix with untreated sewage and spill into the street, spreading bacteria and risking disease and infection.

Read on >>> Source: Redshift Before the Flood: How Technology is Helping Build Water Resilience

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