Water Flow Intelligence aims to enable food and beverage producers to identify opportunities that help improve water management across their operations, deliver on sustainability goals and reduce operational costs by combining smart water meters and sensors with advanced water flow measurement and monitoring, asset performance insights and machine learning.
“Water Flow Intelligence uses cutting-edge digital technologies to enable real-time insights and response,” said Pedro Sancha, senior vice president and general manager of Ecolab’s industrial digital business. “By gaining visibility to water use across their organizations, companies can optimize their operations and make real progress on their water-related sustainability goals, from the enterprise level to individual facilities.”
Ecolab says the service is powered by ECOLAB3D, a secure, cloud-based digital platform that translates data from multiple sources into actionable insights. ECOLAB3D uses advanced algorithms and predictive analytics to power better business outcomes, enhancing the value and impact Ecolab delivers to businesses through its programs, products and services.
Ecolab says manual data collection and analysis to track water use is often tedious, resource-intensive and difficult to execute consistently across sites. Through the data and insights provided by Water Flow Intelligence, developed by Nalco Water, Ecolab’s water management business, users can efficiently pinpoint on a user-friendly dashboard where water is being consumed across the connected assets and processes within their facilities, set enterprise-wide benchmarks and strategically target improvement efforts to help maximize water savings, the company said.
At the local plant level, Water Flow Intelligence aims to help users protect their facilities against water damage and excess water use — which can negatively impact the local community and result in costly fines. Through the combination of real-time monitoring, advanced alarm notifications and 24/7 oversight by engineers at Ecolab’s System Assurance Center, the service alerts users to out-of-spec conditions as they occur, enabling faster responses to address leaks and other issues.
In addition to managing risks, Water Flow Intelligence can help reduce costs by reducing water use. After it was installed in the pretreatment area of a North American auto manufacturing assembly plant, it cut water use at the facility by 15%, saving 25 million gallons of water and $193,000 per year.
“Paired with the knowledge and expertise of our on-the-ground sales and service teams, Water Flow Intelligence can help businesses gauge the effectiveness of their water management plans and improve their water footprint,” said Darrell Brown, executive vice president and president of Ecolab’s global industrial group. “This is more important than ever as the gap between freshwater availability and demand continues to grow, and companies worldwide step up their sustainability commitments to build resilience and drive action in the face of both climate change and water scarcity.”
The launch of this new service comes at a time when rising industrial water use continues to contribute to the world’s growing water stress and scarcity challenges, Ecolab said. According to the World Resources Institute, the world will experience a 56% freshwater shortfall by 2030 if nothing changes, an increase from the 40% shortfall projected by the U.N. in 2015. At the same time, S&P Global reports that corporate water use progress is currently insufficient to prevent the projected freshwater gap.