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IDTechEx predicts the global digital water networks market to grow to over $2 billion by 2030.

Data can drive insights, increase efficiency, and provide detailed information about current water and wastewater networks. The water industry is one that has many unknowns, and more data can provide help to this mature and large industry.

In the next decade, digital solutions will provide a way for utilities to monitor their networks in a variety of different ways.

Six main groups of sensors will provide these insights: water flow meters, water level meters, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, acoustic sensors and chemical sensors.

Water flow meters provide an excellent method to track the flow in pipes, providing parameters such as the mass flow or volumetric flow rate. In water pipes, these could be invasive, as these pipes are typically full, and are clean so have no solid particles to filter out. However, an invasive method requires passing stringent requirements for health and safety, and, therefore, it may be more beneficial to have a non-invasive method that can calculate the flow speed through pipes.

Cost is a key factor with these sensors, and with some sensors requiring large holes to be dug to put them into the water network, the trade-off has to be long enough for a utilities company to reap the rewards of a data-driven network. With sensors now lasting up to 10 years, this provides an excellent opportunity for pipe networks to be upgraded and provide continuous monitoring.

Not only does the cost matter, but different countries have different regulations that determine the priority of what sensors are more likely to be put into their networks. For example, if leaks are a priority, then leak identifications solutions would have higher demand.

Click here for more information about the smart water market report.