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[WEBINAR] Climate Change and Digital Transformation: Key Strategic Drivers of Water Asset Management

[WEBINAR] Climate Change and Digital Transformation: Key Strategic Drivers of Water Asset Management


Robert Kijak, Author

43:44 Minutes

This presentation draws on a new book by Robert Kijak, “Water Asset Management in Times of Climate Change and Digital Transformation,” published by Springer Nature under an imprint of Palgrave Macmillan.

Asset management practices of water utility companies have been recently subject to two strategic drivers: climate change and digital transformation. The latter driver is associated with the fourth industrial revolution - Industry 4.0 - that is contextually named as Water 4.0 (fourth water revolution). The former driver is often debatable, but regardless, weather anomalies have recently become an elevated risk to water assets. Examples from semi-arid and water stressed countries are used in this book as lessons learned that demonstrate how the contemporary asset management practices might still protect against climate change and thus, enhance climate resilience.

Protection against climate change related risks is, however, becoming a less realistic and complex task as time passes. The refocus on accommodating, retreating and avoiding risks is then becoming the preferred approach, particularly with extensive use of recycled water and small local desalinization plants. The relevant risk accommodation strategy ensures a greater energy efficiency and makes the use of renewable energy possible so that their carbon footprint might also be reduced. New design and operational guidelines might be required for water assets with Artificial Intelligence assisting to operationalize otherwise overly complex models and monitoring methodologies. The use of Artificial Intelligence allows asset engineers to have a more strategic role. The retreat/avoid strategy with an extensive use of other Water 4.0 technologies and solutions might also minimize water footprint. Digital transformation ensures then the optimization of assets and processes, which has been illustrated in this book by a number of case studies worldwide.

It is proposed in this book that Water 4.0 be incorporated into the companies’ asset management systems. Such systems assist with balancing performance, risk and costs, and are built upon asset management fundamentals including adaptability. Despite the adverse climate change impacts, the business value from asset management might continue to increase through the disruptive Water 4.0 technologies and solutions. The implementation of asset management systems with reference to the ISO 55001 standard by water utility companies should ensure both Water 4.0 and climate adaptation, and ultimately climate resilience.

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