SWAN North American Alliance Newsletter – Spring 2018
Thank You Marc Bracken
With this issue, we acknowledge the baton passing from our very first North American Alliance Chairman, Marc Bracken, to Gary Wong of OSIsoft, a visionary, whom Marc recruited to join SWAN.
A 30-year veteran of the water sector, Marc founded Echologics, which was acquired by Mueller because of its expertise in data-driven leak detection and water loss management.
Marc’s involvement with SWAN started as soon as he learned of the membership opportunity. He agreed to step in to fill the role of Chair in North America when asked by SWAN Forum founder Amir Peleg, and he played a pivotal role in the first, successful North American workshop in San Diego.
As Marc noted in his chairman’s letter in the inaugural North American Alliance Newsletter, “I have been attending the SWAN Conference every year since its inception, and I have personally seen its evolution into the leading conference focused specifically on Smart Water.”
During Marc’s term, the North American Alliance has grown from an idea to a sustainable and impactful force in the water sector, hosting regular webinars, two North American conferences (in Chicago and San Diego), and a quarterly newsletter.
Amir Cahn, Executive Director, SWAN-Forum, said, “Marc’s knowledge of the sector was critical to early growth, as he helped to identify and recruit other smart water leaders and partners, including: OSIsoft, CH2M, CleanTech San Diego and SmartCover Systems.
“Marc is a highly regarded innovator in the water technology space, who shared our vision, and was able to pull together critical resources to support the launch of SWAN’s first alliance in North America. We are very grateful for his service.”
An Excerpt from Kevin Westerling of Water Online’s Q&A with new SWAN North American Alliance Chairman, Gary Wong
How would you classify the industry’s rate of adoption for smart water technologies, and how does the Alliance help move that forward?
“I think it’s the best time ever to be in water. The opportunities are vast, and North American water utilities are becoming much more aware of new technologies, sensors, and smart water networks. But I still say, overall, the speed of adoption can be much faster. There are still some barriers.
First, the cost of water for us here is quite low. It’s not fully costed out.
Also, the North American market is very fragmented. There is limited cooperation between the different stakeholders — technology providers, utilities, and investors — because of that fragmentation.
Municipal water sectors are also financially risk-adverse. They still look at low-cost bids, which may not always provide the utility with what they really need, especially if RFP [request for proposal] specs either aren’t written tightly or are open to wide interpretation.
Lastly, I would say culture is probably the biggest barrier, but I see us moving in the right direction. There are leaders who are passionate out there, [and] young professionals in the industry who have a different perspective on things. There’s huge potential, but collaboration is really important for these ideas and technologies to come together.
That’s what the Alliance is here to do — to help address and meet these challenges head-on, to increase the dialogue, and to offer webinars, workshops, case studies, and best practices to get people talking about it and understanding what their peers are doing.” Read the full Q&A
SWAN Annual Conference Makes a Splash in Barcelona
This year’s conference brought together 230 attendees across 26 countries and included 24 leading, global water utilities.
Read the blog post HERE that discusses key takeaways from this year’s event.
Check out the video recap which features several conference attendees spanning the smart water industry including utilities, consultants, technology providers and more.
New Rising Smart Water Professionals Portal Available Now
The SWAN Rising Smart Water Professionals Group (RiSWP) will empower and support the next generation of smart water leaders. SWAN has launched the new RiSWP Portal, through which students and young professionals can gain access to educational resources, connect with others in the field, and develop their careers. Please share this Portal with young professionals at your company and across your industry contacts.
Watch the Cyber Security Threats and Opportunities Webinar On-Demand
Did you miss the March 27 webinar exploring cyber security issues in the smart water utility industry?
Click below to watch it for free today.
Join the Alliance Events Group and help create smart water opportunities!
The Events Group within the Alliance is central to delivering thought leadership, impactful networking, and member exposure. To this end, the Group has coordinated two annual workshops (San Diego and Chicago) and four webinars focused on key smart water agenda topics: water, wastewater, policy, and cyber security. Efforts of our Alliance members are crucial in making these events engaging, and timely, ultimately furthering our shared goals to advance the industry. We welcome passionate individuals and dynamic thinkers to join the Events Group to ensure we can deliver exciting opportunities to bring the smart water community together.
If you are interested or want to nominate a colleague, please reach out to Seth Cutler (email@example.com).
SWAN RESEARCH PORTAL: Call for Research Papers
The SWAN Research Portal is designed to be an open source for sharing smart water initiatives across the world and bring both innovation and case studies to light across the water community. If you have any case studies or research you would like to have highlighted in the Research Portal, these can be submitted through the portal.
Together we can continue to accelerate the revolution smart technologies are having for water resources preservation, public health protection, efficiency and optimization, and customer engagement.
Don’t Miss the SWAN Session at ACE18
WED37 – Navigating a Digital Utility Transformation – Embracing a Smart Water Future
Wednesday, June 13 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. PDT
While many utilities are looking for ways to improve the pace of technology adoption, they often have difficulty justifying the expenditure. In many cases there is little understanding of the long-term potential to transform the way utilities manage treatment, distribution, and collection. Hear from SWAN, the Smart Water Networks Forum, and utility leaders about innovation and smart water journeys.
This session features speakers from the US EPA Water Security Division, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, OSIsoft, Trimble Inc., Bentley Systems, and SUEZ.
Visit our Exhibiting SWAN Members in the ACE18 Exhibit Hall
Aquatech Mexico (September 4-6, 2018) offers a prominent platform for companies within the water technology industry from around the globe, wanting to explore business opportunities in Mexico. Aquatech Mexico enables the establishment of partnerships, creation of alliances and sharing of best practices between local and international businesses.
Participate in the SWAN Pavilion! This opportunity includes a discounted booth, increased marketing exposure, and a speaking slot. Limited spots for SWAN Members and Partners; view offer HERE. For more information please contact: Mr. Mark Boddeke at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intelligent Urban Watersheds
By Tim Braun of EmNet, a Xylem brand and SWAN North American Alliance Member
Excerpt from Meeting of the Minds
Over the last few decades, hydraulic and hydrologic modelers have dramatically increased our understanding of urban watersheds; namely the built wastewater and stormwater infrastructure within their respective urban environments. These models have been manually tuned and calibrated using data from flow meters and other sensors, and adjusting available software knobs and levers to improve model accuracy, leading to better capital infrastructure planning. Additional, substantive improvements to the various modeling software platforms in recent years have yielded improved results and a more compelling user experience.
Recently, however, giant leaps forward in computing power, combined with advances and cost reductions in sensor and telemetry technologies, have made it possible to go far beyond the status quo and break into a new echelon of opportunities. We can now run high resolution models in real time, with real world precipitation data, while correcting critical downstream model nodes with observed sensor data. The outcome is perpetually calibrated digital copies of the urban watershed for far more effective real time operational decision making and control. Read the full article
New Asset Management Report / Special Discount for SWAN Members
Smarter, more advanced asset management strategies will drive US$41.9 billion in water utility savings by 2027. Central is the increasing value in data collection, analytics, and visualization of network conditions and operations. A new report from Bluefield Research, Advanced Asset Management in Municipal Water: Global Trends & Strategies, 2018 – 2027, released in May 2018, deconstructs the complex processes that municipal water utilities undertake to manage their assets. Bluefield analyzes key market drivers and inhibitors, successful strategies of early adopting utilities, and profiles over 40 innovative solution providers. We are pleased to offer SWAN members 15% off the list price. Access promo code HERE.