wSmart is an Internet portal that supports Water Utilities to manage their water networks. wSmart – Network Optimization is a tool that enables customers with little or no specific training in hydraulics to use cutting edge optimization technology as Genetic Algorithms while ensuring high levels of plausibility. wsmart – Network Administration is a modular utility management information system for customer administration and asset management.
wSmart is being developed to facilitate the labour of water professionals on different levels. With its collaboration of different water-perspectives and the focus on developing a common language for cross-sectorial understanding, is focused directly towards sustainability.
wSmart is a web based service provided by MACS Energy & Water, an independent Consultancy based in Germany (www.macsonline.de).
MACS Energy & Water has developed this novel web-based water distribution network assessment tool for rapid prototyping and identification of technically and economically optimal water network designs.
wsmart – Network Optimization is a multi-language expert system, which provides practitioners in the utility sector the possibility to simulate network performance and test different optimization strategies. It features a simple user-friendly interface, a broad range of automated data generation functionalities (such as pre-set network properties, intelligent elevation or gradient estimation tools), a sensible scenario analysis functionality and automated report generation with an integrated solution.
wsmart appears in the water community as a step forward with regard to asset management, where often modelling the network is performed as a standalone measure with no consideration for the economic implications. Its integrated interpretation of the result in economic terms merges other involved sectors with the added value of simplicity.
wSmart – Network Administration is a smart, flexible, multi-language and tailored modular utility management information system. It is based on a solid and fast database architecture. wsmart is an online system, which makes it fast, flexible and reliable for all users as it is safe due to data storage on a safeguarded server. wsmart is operating a set of modules: On the customer administration level, it manages the core, customer database, billing and (real time) payment modules, accompanied by payroll system, warehouse management, customer complaint management and file management. On the asset management level the core of wsmart is the asset management module interface linked to any standard accounting system, network management optimization module and O&M budgeting and work management modules. All modules have fixed and customizable reporting functions, allowing for fast and precise reporting and accountability.
wsmart is operated by Batumi Tskali and Kobuleti Tskali, both in Georgia. In Batumi Tskali wsmart is operated since 2009, undergoing different customization and development processes. In 2012 wsmart the system won the IWA PIA (International Water Association, Project Innovation) Award. Thanks to its flexibility and online availability, wsmart allows for fact based management decision making, and hence providing substantial assistance to the business development of the utility Batumi Tskali. This particularly regards customer satisfaction and customer payment behavior as well as water supply network management optimization by proper management of the district metered areas (DMAs), based on real time data, allowing for fast maintenance reaction and loss detection.
Since 2009 the number of customers was increased from 48,000 to 62,000. Overall a population of 200,000 inhabitants is supplied in Batumi. During the same time collection efficiency (payment of invoices) increased from below 30% to 100%. Revenues have increased 4 fold during the same time. Commercial and technical losses in the water supply network were reduced and are maintained on a level of < 30%.
wSmart – Network Optimization has been introduced in two Brazilian States for optimization of small and decentralized rural water supply and waste water systems.
The software is applied in several SISARTM (Sistema Integrado de Saneamento Rural) from the state of Piauí and Ceará to evaluate the performance of their system as well as to provide the best technical solution for extension of the service. The tool is especially designed for small and mid-sized utilities, which often lack the means to engage external specialists and consultants, but nevertheless want to improve the performance of their network.
The results from the hydraulic simulation showed that not all the systems were operating under optimal conditions. With the help of the Genetic Algorithm some changes were suggested in the pipeline that improved the pressure within the network and the pumping time, resulting directly in Energy Savings.
With wSmart – Network Optimization future scenarios can also be assessed. From the ratio of population growth can be forecasted short-, mid-, and long-term water demand and evaluate the capacity of current system to hold the new consumption. Related to this, it was diagnosed the weakness to maintain quality service in a long-term scenario with a remarkable deficit of water. The optimization module explored several solutions providing as result the construction of a new water tank.
Experience shows that users do not necessarily need to be expert modelers to manipulate the application. The integrated interpretation of the result in economic terms is going beyond the pure engineering calculations, allowing everyone to understand the meaning behind the outcome.