Predicting water quality plays a vital part in keeping humans healthy and the world in balance. Industrialisation and an increasing population, as well as the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides, have all had an adverse effect on global water quality. It is therefore extremely important not only to test and analyse current water quality, but also to predict how circumstances could affect it.

Scientists predict water quality by factoring in known variables, such as tide levels, precipitation, and how much effluent or sewage is being released into rivers, as well as air pressure and humidity. Water quality can be affected by the simplest of conditions, such as fluctuations in the quantity of dissolved oxygen produced by aquatic plants because of changes in local weather conditions.

How can Artificial Intelligence help water companies?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses historical data to help it predict what will happen to the water – when certain variables have been taken into account – with a very high degree of accuracy. For instance, engineers have developed AI that will help water companies detect leaks in pipework. This technology will help engineers predict which water mains will be next to break, as well as the likely timing of that breakage, rather than relying on age-based estimates.

Using data based on the materials used in the pipework’s construction, location, and usage, the technology will help engineers assess the pipes that are most likely to fail given certain weather conditions. This allows them to divert funding to maintain and replace the pipes most likely to fail; creating a more efficient water system with higher water quality.

Where is predictive AI especially useful?

In populated areas, it is a straightforward task to take regular water samples for analysis. However, in remote areas, it is less easy, leading to a gap in the data. Yet the water quality in one area will affect the quality further downstream, which makes it an important factor. AI can use available data to fill in the gaps about how weather conditions, climate change and human activity will affect water quality.

Using AI to predict weather conditions

Severe weather conditions can adversely affect water quality. AI is being developed to help meteorologists get earlier warnings of storm disruption, which will help save lives and property. The earlier the warnings, the more likely it is that damage prevention measures can successfully be implemented. With less damage there will be less danger to the quality of the water.

How using AI for different predictions can help water quality

Water quality is affected by many different factors, and AI is being developed in various sectors to improve sustainability. For example, AI has revolutionised the fashion industry and significantly reduce waste after discovering that the production of cheap fashion is the direct cause of 20% of the world’s water pollution and the sheer quantity of water the industry uses has depleted seas and destroyed forests. This technology can calculate the supply of garments needed area by area based on current data on sales as well as waste. By having a better idea of the amount of clothing that will be sold, overproduction and associated waste could be a thing of the past, and water pollution levels will drop.

Improving water efficiency

AI can also be a useful tool in the detection of water leaksWater efficiency is hugely important, not just to save your business money, but also to ensure the availability of this precious resource. With smart meters in place, AI makes it possible for companies to be alerted at the first sign of unusual water usage, as well as enabling them to use the data to assess the effectiveness of any water efficiency measures being implemented.

As the UK’s leading independent business water supplier, we offer smart ways of monitoring your water usage in order to identify water leaks, saving water at the same time as reducing your costs. Contact us to find out more.


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