Technology offers solution to S Africa’s water issues

21st January 2022 By: Anna Moross - Writer

Technology, such as global energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric’s Aquavanced Software Suite, can play an important role in alleviating some of the pressure on South Africa’s ageing water infrastructure, says Schneider Electric Southern Africa international operations water and wastewater segment lead Jacques Squire.

He adds that this can be achieved through simulation, planning and real-time monitoring of energy consumption, combatting water loss, asset performance management, capital planning, monitoring water quality, zero liquid discharge, flood monitoring and regulatory compliance.

The Aquavanced Software Suite is an advanced real-time smart monitoring system that can inspect the complete water cycle management for water utilities and industries, from water resources to plants, networks and recycling by using sensors, intelligent motor protection, variable-frequency drives and advanced process controllers.

It can help to reduce water use by recovering and reusing water when used in wastewater treatment plants. The system monitors by using various technologies.

“By implementing the system, we collect data and use this data in the software suite to monitor plants, network and recycling water resources, identify leakages and ensure water quality and energy efficiency to name a few,” Squire explains.

Moreover, the system has the potential to establish a water infrastructure that can also ensure asset protection, cost savings, performance benchmarking and energy savings as well as increased safety.

By implementing software and digital suites the reliability of ageing infrastructure can be improved, which leads to the extended life of the infrastructure.

“The world's companies are looking at digital transformation to see how we can improve and optimise sites, reduce carbon emissions and become more resilient and sustainable and it's something that that we are pushing as Schneider Electric in South Africa,” adds Squire.

He concludes that the most important resource the world has is water, “which everybody seems to forget.” By 2030, if we keep on the same track we’ll face a 40% global water deficit and with the ever-increasing global population growth, societies, companies and governments need to implement technologies to find solutions and save water.