Today, digital technologies are advancing the development of sustainable water systems. Data-driven solutions facilitate efficient management of operations, prevention of problems and quick response to issues. These capabilities are especially important at this point in time, as the world’s water supply is under great pressure from overexploitation of groundwater, rising demand from industries and growing populations, polluted sources, and climate change. Government policy, investment in less water-intensive industrial processes, and reduced domestic water use are among the key factors that can help safeguard water resources. Water management is another.
To help manage their water-supply operations and improve system performance, water utilities are making use of digital twins. These virtual replicas of physical assets build on effective data management, utilizing real-time data to create a shared holistic perspective of assets and enable optimization of processes through informed and timely decision making.
In the following Q&A and related case studies, WSP hydraulic modelling experts provide insight into how digital twin technologies help water-system professionals make the best decisions—to run water systems efficiently, minimizing waste and maximizing supply of water for communities.
Jean-Luc Daviau explores a “faster” digital twin for the water supply system from Toronto to York Region in Canada, and Thomas Johansson discusses real-time modelling in the Linköping water supply network in Sweden.
What is a digital twin?
A digital twin is a virtual replica of an asset that incorporates associated real-time data during operation of that asset. It provides an immersive and integrated visualization of previously siloed information and enables use of modern digital analysis techniques, such as condition-based monitoring and predictive analysis, to plan for the continued functioning of infrastructure.