Utilization and sustainable management of water resources: towards the Green Economy 

Artificial Intelligence solutions

Utilization and sustainable management of water resources

Water is a fundamental natural resource, which demand is constantly increasing and has consequences on the ecosystem. 

The utilization and sustainable management of water resources, today represents a choice that cannot be postponed for the most advanced economies.

Water consumption criticalities

Failures on the Italian national water network and the consequent losses are a clear alarm bell that identifies flaws in the system, which therefore lead to the alarming data collected already in the two-year period 2018-19.

Water dispersion also determines, among other things, problems of pollution and damage to structural and hydrogeological stability.

It must also be taken into account that, in several cases, the measurement of the water withdrawn is distorted by the use of non-compliant meters or by the presence of water theft. This results in economic-financial disequilibrium of public administrations, due to the high levels of arrears, and consequently scenarios arise that increase the problem of losses, since the water systems are not subjected to the necessary maintenance.

According to an ISTAT survey, in 2018 alone, 44 cubic meters of water per day were lost for every kilometer of water network, a value that rises to 100 cubic meters in just 9 municipalities in Italy. According to these data, approximately 37.3% of the water introduced into the network has been lost, resulting in a waste of resources and gas emissions into the air.

These values ​​have grown over time: the latest ISTAT report on climate change (2020) illustrates how, in Italy’s islands, only 50% of the total volume of water introduced arrives, with a dispersion of over a third of the total value.

The utilization and sustainable management of water resources

The solution to the dispersion of water and the control of water resources is however possible thanks to the use of a completely green plan, which frames water resource management projects through new technologies.

The sustainable management solutions can be different, and all studied according to a rigorous plan that takes into account the specific situation to be controlled according to the Municipality in question. The basic idea is to propose a project that will ensure the use of water for everyone, without distinction.

To encourage this concept, many companies propose water control indicators that are used in the production of various kinds of goods, as well as operating tasks with the aim of keeping water resources in perfect condition, preventing losses.

Among the most interesting examples is that of the municipality of Catanzaro, for example, which thanks to the HydroControl project will prepare an ad hoc platform to control the municipal water consumption, identify any leaks or thefts of water and implement a plan of predictive maintenance of the same municipal water networks.

The most advanced solutions are therefore those that adopt a system powered by Artificial Intelligence, capable of monitoring and acquiring all data on consumption and water values ​​in real time.

The water network is the primary target of these sustainable projects, being the structure most at risk.

Returning to the example of the Hydro Control project, it is important to note that the latter also focuses on monitoring the active water flow in the water network: through sensors that analyze the incoming and outgoing flow, it is possible to calculate a water balance , connected to frequent leaks or theft of water.

The challenges of the future in terms of water

As anticipated, the need to preserve what are the current water resources is an unprecedented reality.

According to an article by Ansa, in reference to an alarm launched by the ONU, by 2030 the need for water could grow up to 30% more than the current one, having to face a water shortage equal to 40% of the total in the whole planet.

This shortage will lead to problems for agriculture, livestock breeding and the production of goods of any kind, food and non-food, creating a crisis situation unmatched in human history.

For this reason, using a green approach from now on and taking advantage of the support in new technologies to make sustainable choices, becomes more and more an urgency that public administrations have the task of fulfilling.