US water infrastructure needs new policies to match new technology

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Eric Suesz June 7, 2022 1 min read

Colby Manwaring recently sat down with Todd Danielson, Informed Infrastructure‘s editorial director to talk about how important it is for water industry thought leaders to explain the potential of digital twin technologies to US policymakers who are currently fleshing out the way new funds will be used to shore up the nation’s water policies.

Colby Manwaring talks to Todd Danielson about digital twins and US water policies.

As Colby notes in the interview, it may be more helpful to add the word “dynamic” to the beginning of that phrase to emphasize the point that digital twins must be continually updated and optimized to take full advantage of its power.

Colby also talks about a few stellar examples of water utilities who lawmakers can look to for innovative use of digital twins like Denver Water, who have been using sensors and models to mimic what’s happening in their system every day for a long time. They don’t just occasionally check with their digital twin models but incorporate them into their daily practice so their models are always taking into account the effects of current maintenance or outages.

Another great example Colby touches on is the Yorba Linda Water District’s exemplary way of using Autodesk software to monitor ~25,000 water connections that are served by a combination of different water sources – 70% groundwater and 30% imported water – to identify the anomalies in each water source and optimize for them.

They wrap up with how Autodesk and Innovyze, in conjunction with the US Water Alliance, are pivoting their focus to better enable and support the lawmakers, the policymakers and the funding machines to improve the pathway for better outcomes for the water industry. Colby recommends companies and municipalities reserve 5% of the construction budget on digital technology to optimize construction and create the recommended maintenance and operation schedule.

Watch the interview and let us know what you think by joining the conversation on LinkedIn.