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🔬 "What Did We Learn at the World’s Largest Wastewater Conference?"

The Future of Water

Photo by Ivan Bandura / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Reese Tisdale
Guest: Eric Bindler | Research Director, Digital Water | Bluefield Research
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[9:38] “Kando, the Israeli wastewater quality monitoring player […] just launch[ed] what they're calling Pulse, which is […] a new dashboard platform for tracking the data that they collect. A big part of what they're trying to focus on is helping utilities identify wastewater pollution from their industrial clients. So if all of a sudden wastewater coming into their treatment plant is not in line with their […] standards or their pretreatment programs, their compliance programs, they have an idea of what's coming. And they can also go talk to those polluting firms and say, […] we've got data showing that you dumped this at this time on this day […]. They've got some interesting […] algorithms that work to try to predict which industry, which client could be responsible based on wastewater quality that they're tracking. They've got […] industry footprints depending on the types of contaminants or the types of compounds that different industries put into their wastewater.”

[10:54] “The other that was pretty interesting was Schneider Electric. So obviously a big […] SCADA automation player, strong position in the global water wastewater industry. And they're launching some products that are moving in the direction of open automation […]. Traditionally SCADA systems and automation systems in the industry, the […] IP is very much held by the systems integrators. […] All of that code is basically owned by the systems integrator. And if the utility wants to put in a new piece of software, 20 years down the line, or put in a new hardware, 20 years down the line, they're really stuck. […] Schneider is trying to invest in this idea of open automation, where the whole kind of system architecture is much less dependent on the specific pieces of hardware that have the specific code, the specific logic built in. And it'll really give utilities more flexibility to change out devices, change out applications in the future. […] I think it's a really interesting concept. And it has the potential to really change the way that SCADA is done, the way that systems integration is done and the way that utilities are […] thinking about SCADA in relation to the broader digital water landscape.”

[27:37] “What's […] always interesting to me is to see a company that's pretty well established in another industry that's trying to find a way to push into water. And I do think we've seen a lot of that, especially since COVID. […] When we had that period of time, when so many businesses were shut down, so many industries were kind of shuttered. […] A lot of the vendors that supply water, were able to kind of stay up and running because they were supplying a critical infrastructure sector. And so I think that's maybe further increased that curiosity about the water industry from outside, from adjacent industries. And also just, I feel like water is more and more, the more we talk about climate change, and drought and water scarcity and flooding, I mean, water is in the news a lot. And I think it's really pushing people to think about how they could adopt their existing technologies, their capabilities, their expertise to help solve problems in the water industry.”

[31:29] “One of the […] early realizations I had, as I started working on this digital piece of the [utility] market was, so much of the activity is really confined to the largest utilities. […] But […] those larger utilities make up such a small fraction of the total […] universe of water and wastewater organizations in the US and the world. […] The vast majority are serving fewer than 50,000 people. And so when you get down into that level, you've got very different needs in terms of the problems that they're trying to solve very, very different levels of kind of technical sophistication, very different budgets, different price points. And I think more and more people are talking about that. I've come across a number of really interesting, especially startups, […] in the past year or two that are specifically targeting that slice of the market, and trying to find ways of just getting basic digital tools into the hands of these small utilities.

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 41 min | 🗓️ 10/26/2021
✅ Time saved: 39 min

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