NB-IoT-Based Smart Water Network

NB-IoT-Based Smart Water Network

Ramasamy Srinivasan (Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia), Sultan Feisso (Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia) and Muluneh Mekonen (Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4775-5.ch011
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Water leakage is a common problem that often results in water waste, damages, and hazards to public health. Because of their potential danger to public health, economic loss, environmental damage, and energy waste, underground water pipelines leaks have received more attention globally. One of the great concerns in the water industry is the existence of non-revenue water (NRW), which is produced but fails to reach the consumer due to loss along the distribution network. The global volume of NRW has been calculated to be 346 million cubic meters per day or 126 billion cubic meters per year. The non-revenue water reaches an alarming 35%. The installation of right sensors, a feasible radio network and the effective processing of gathered information by ICT in the water distribution network helps to reduce non-revenue water volumes at various stages. This chapter justifies the use of NB-IoT to manage smart water networks.
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Water is a critical source of life on our planet; in recent years due to rapid urbanization more than half of the global population lives in towns and cities. By 2050, that proportion is expected to rise to two-thirds. Safe drinking water systems and adequate sanitation will be essential to ensure cities and towns grow sustainably and to keep humanity healthy. Urban water is regularly transmitted using underground pipelines. Water transmission pipelines periodically lose an average of 20% to 30% of the water transmitted through them, and those numbers can escalate up to 50% in old systems especially ones that have suffered from inefficient maintenance. There are multiple causes for loss of water in transmission pipelines which include leakage, metering errors, public usage such as firefighting, and theft. Losses from distribution networks can be effectively reduced and controlled in a sustainable manner by adopting proactive detection mechanism and ICT tools. This chapter presents an insight into role of the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) for Smart Water Management system. NB-IoT is a cellular technology facilitating as ICT enabler for machine to machine communication and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and mainly focusing towards application in Smart Water management requiring wireless transmission over a more extended range at a relatively low cost and using little power for long battery lives.

The remainder of the chapter is organized in five sections. Section 1 discuss about related works and suitability of NB-IoT. Section 2 of this chapter provides an overview of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) assessment and current practices. In addition, it also addresses the role of ICT in reducing the levels of NRW with respect to water Industry. Section 3 highlights the use of NB-IoT to cater the intended objective, namely flexible deployment, extended coverage, long battery life, low device complexity, low device cost, latency, and massive device connectivity. Section 4 provides a detailed framework for smart water management systems and implementations done using LPWAN technologies and use case to highlight the feasibility of NB-IoT for smart water. Finally, Section 5 concludes the key features of NB-IoT that can act as a key enabler for Water Industry augmenting the existing SCADA systems.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT): This is a recent version of IoT. As the name suggests this version uses narrow bands for its operation. It is a popular LPWA technology due to its large coverage, low energy consumption, and overall simplicity. It is compatible with almost all kinds of cellular communications.

Non-Revenue Water (NRW): Non-revenue water are those components of system input volume which are not billed and do not produce revenue, i.e. notrevenue water. It is equal to unbilled authorized consumption plus real losses and apparent losses. It is a component in the IWA Standard Water Balance.

District Metered Area (DMA): A DMA is a section of the distribution network, commonly where sluice valves have been shut off, usually permanently, so that demand in the area can be monitored by the flow through one or more meters for the purpose of leakage management.

Automatic Meter Reading (AMR): AMR is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from water meter or energy metering devices (gas, electric) and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing.

Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI): AMI typically refers to the full measurement and collection system that includes meters at the customer site, communication networks between the customer and a service provider.

Leakage Control: Leakage control is the process of undertaking a series of activities to control the actual level of leakage. The main activities that can be used to control leakage are active leakage control, pressure management, effective and speedy repairs and mains rehabilitation.

Internet of Things (IoT): The Internet of Things is quite a broad term which means different things to different people. But the general concept is that a very large number of ‘things’ (devices that include sensors)are connected via wireless links and the Internet to centralized applications.

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