2013 is the International Year of Water Cooperation.

A fitting time to remember Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s iconic lines from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, describing the sailors’ thirst. Reading the United Nations’ morbid facts and figures makes one wonder how we will be freed of our own dead albatross – an impending water crisis.

This is a global issue. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 US states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013, even under non-drought conditions. And the UN figures show that more than 38% of 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water scarce environment.

Conservation is the need of the hour, and today’s technological advances have put us in a position to do something about it. Traditional water meters are read infrequently, precluding any intelligent trend analysis or proactive steps.

However, investments in smart meters and smart grids can provide a flow of rich data, which can be aggregated and analyzed with swiftly with modern data analysis and visualization tools. This measurement and analysis of data can be used to educate customers, regulate flow, prevent wastage and penalize overusers. Most importantly, it can facilitate a global partnership, to conserve our planet’s unique but dwindling resource.

A New York Times article on a pilot study in Palm Desert, California showed how installation of smart meters inspired consumers to change their water usage patterns and frequency, conserving both water and electricity. This pilot is a beautiful example of the change that can be brought about by combining awareness with big data technology, benefiting consumers, providers and the planet.

Here’s also some recommended read for you.

·Big Returns from Big Data in Energy and Process Industries – Research Paper Link

·Utilities, Oil & Gas and Chemical companies can extract big returns from their investments in big data and predictive analytics – Infographic Link

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