IBM launch Intelligent Water for Smarter Cities


Intelligent water is the latest addition to the IBM Smarter Cities portfolio.

in the world’s cities are growing at an astounding rate. For the 1st time in history, over 50% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Over 1 million people are moving into cities every week, and it is estimated that by 2050 70% of people on the planet will live in cities.

This unprecedented growth in urban populations makes the provision of basic services like transport, security, water etc. increasingly complex. This is irrespective of whether the city is a mature city or a developing one. It was against this backdrop that IBM launched its Smarter Cities product.

At the core of this offering is its Intelligent Operation Center (IOC) which takes inputs from systems throughout the city and depending on the input, raises alerts, kicks off workflows, or displays the information on any of a number of dashboards which can be configured to display differing information based on a user’s login.

The newly announced Intelligent Water offering is yet another module capable of working with the IOC. In their briefing call, IBM were at pains to point out that their experience working with custom projects like the ones in Galway Bay, the Washington DC, and the Dubuque, Iowa all helped shape this new product.

Water issues are global in their reach, even if the difficulties differ from region to region (i.e. drought in Texas, flooding in Thailand, water quality in India).

IBM’s Intelligent Water helps organise water-related work. It drives proactive maintenance and schedules the maintenance so that the majority of the time is spent actually doing the maintenance, as opposed to driving between destinations. It allows water managers to see where the water is going – is it being delivered to customers, or disappearing through leaks in the pipework? Are customers using it effectively or not?

It integrates with geospatial packages and has map-based views, there are analytics for optimized scheduling, work order reporting, water usage reporting and display dashboards with roles-based information display. It is possible therefore to create views for the public (to display on the municipality’s website, for example), views for the Mayor’s office and others screens for the water planners and water operators.

According to IBM, Intelligent Water is available today. It comes with IBM’s business intelligence reporting tools as part of the solution and is available in standalone, cloud or hybrid versions.

I’m open to correction, but I’m not aware of any other company offering a comprehensive city management software solution like this. With cities growing at the rates they are, and most resources being finite, management solutions like this are going to be in greater and greater demand.

Photo credit Tom Raftery