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Water & Wastewater Utilities Turn to SCADA to Improve Operations and Business Efficiency

With clean water becoming increasingly scarce and precious, the perceived and inherent value of water increases, driving investment in more sophisticated monitoring and controls. According to a new ARC Advisory Group report, “Advanced SCADA Systems for the Water & Wastewater Industry Global Market Research Study”, barring any new economic slowdowns, the SCADA market for water & wastewater is poised to witness long-term sustainable growth.

“Cyber security has become a clear differentiator in this space following several recent highly publicized attacks on water industry SCADA systems. Advanced SCADA vendors who want to thrive in this highly competitive market will need to offer demonstrably secure solutions,” according to Analyst Alex Chatha, the principal study author.

SCADA Helps Utilities Solve Challenges
Water utilities are being challenged to operate more efficiently, lower operating costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. Water scarcity has become a universal issue, and reducing nonrevenue water has reached critical mass at utilities worldwide, particularly in arid regions that rely on costly desalinated water as their primary source of potable water. The utilities are turning to SCADA to increase operator efficiency, engineering efficiency, and process optimization while also being more responsive to the needs of their customers.

Advanced SCADA can help utilities meet their goals of ensuring 24/7 water supply, water quality, water efficiency, and business efficiency. Advanced SCADA can help utilities optimize management of the full water cycle and manage their limited resources. It can also help minimize energy consumption, detect and reduce leakage, and optimize asset management and security.

All Regions Turn to SCADA
Advanced SCADA solutions have become more important to municipalities in North America and Western Europe as they face daunting challenges with more stringent water and wastewater regulations, sustainability needs, funding shortfalls, and issues with water shortages and infrastructure health. Growing affluence in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America drives demand for water and wastewater services. SCADA demands are following the resulting infrastructure build-out.

In the Middle East, the high cost and value of desalinated water is driving implementation of smart water networks intended to minimize nonrevenue water losses. In this region, cyber security is of utmost importance as it is a hotbed for cyber-attacks.

In China, environmental concerns and the severity of the water pollution problem has become a headline issue both nationally and globally. As a result, the government has issued a mandate for a national water quality monitoring network. The government laid out plans to upgrade about 2,000 water plants between 2011 and 2015, as well as, build an additional 2,358 water plants with a combined capacity of 40 million cubic meters per day to meet the demands of rapid urbanization. This represents a major opportunity for SCADA vendors.

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