Water scarcity has become an issue of global concern. Water Demand Management (WDM) is one approach to sustainable management of water, but it relies on the right operational and financial information being made accessible to the right people at the right time. Find out more about how IMQS’s Water Demand Module helps water utilities with comprehensive WDM efforts.

WATER SECURITY A GLOBAL ISSUE


Globally, growing changes in water demand and supply are exacerbating water scarcity. According to a recent World Bank 1 report, the world will face a 40% shortfall between forecast demand and available supply of water by 2030. By 2025, about 1.8 billion people will be living in regions or countries with absolute water scarcity.

FACTORS INFLUENCING WATER SCARCITY:

Population growth

Changes in lifestyle

Demographic structure

Climate change

Rapid development

Urbanisation

Rising standards of living


At the 12th Meeting of the International Consortium for Water Resource Economics in September 2016, water security was a central theme. The message that emerged was that, unless action is taken soon to address water issues more comprehensively, challenges surrounding water could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP by 20502.

Water utilities will therefore play a pivotal role in mitigating the threats associated with hydro-security, especially in water-scarce regions of the world.

WATER DEMAND MANAGEMENT


There are typically two potential approaches to managing water:

Supply-side management - relates to meeting demand with new resources.

Demand-side management - relates to postponing or avoiding the need to develop new resources by dealing with demand.


Worldwide, emphasis has shifted to demand-side solutions. Water demand management involves the adoption of policies or investments by a water utility to achieve efficient water use by all members of the community and optimise the use of available water resources and infrastructure.

DEMAND MANAGEMENT MEASURES:

Cost-reflective pricing

Universal customer metering

Reticulation leakage detection and repair programmes and pressure reduction

A communication strategy, including a community education campaign

Reduction of water use by the water utility

Use of reclaimed water (e.g. waste water/grey water) to reduce the need for fresh water supplies

Water use restrictions, either on a temporary or permanent basis


Strategic planning in both areas of operations and finance is a key aspect of a successful WDM strategy.

OPERATIONAL ISSUES:

Understanding constraints

Establishing how much water is used

Determining potential reduction through implementing new equipment

Developing programmes to achieve improvements


FINANCIAL ISSUES:

Evaluating WDM measures to ensure they are cost-effective

Determining the sequences in which measures are implemented. For example, establishing a fair and efficient pricing system for water is only possible when all customers are metered

THE IMQS WATER DEMAND SOLUTION


The above, interlinked aspects of WDM rely on the consolidation and distribution of operational and financial information about the water demand cycle. Moreover, information needs to be made accessible across departments, as well as geographically linked for stakeholders to better understand where all relevant water assets are located in space.

IMQS’s integrated software solution that supports the effective fulfilment of WDM is based on the specialist software package called SWIFT. The Water Demand module solves a variety of WDM problems by equipping the right people with relevant information at the right time. Practical information is presented in a number of categories that can be put to use almost immediately by managers and operational staff.

The Water Demand module offers customisable views on the following areas:

Water Demand and Consumption

Unaccounted for Water

Statistical Reports

Stand-related Information

Financial Information

Spatial Geographic Information


As with other modules such as the IMQS Electricity Demand Management (ELIFT) module , the primary capability of the Water Demand module delivers practical results is the rich and customisable reporting features. The Water Demand module allows municipalities (and other organisations responsible for WDM) to customise a range of settings, so that analyses can be performed of any treasury database and reports can be delivered in a variety of ways that are relevant to different roles.

For more information on IMQS’s Water Demand module, download our White Paper or see our latest Infographic.