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Big Data and Analytics Optimizing Water Delivery, Billing, and Conservation

Opportunity for municipalities to realize lost revenue, improve efficiency, and productivity.

I just learned about Olea Edge Analytics and its CityEdge computing platform for water utilities which uses a combination of blockchain, AI, and machine learning (ML) to help cities recover lost revenue.

More than 10% of commercial water meters are not working properly resulting in $3.9 billion in lost revenue each year in industrial/commercial billing. This is a huge opportunity for municipalities to close the revenue gap brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The platform notifies municipalities of water infrastructure issues in real-time, allowing utilities to fix them fast and recover lost revenue. The software recommends the best fix based on complexity and financial impact. The money identified and recovered can be repurposed to any city project immediately, bypassing the prolonged search for funding that slows most major initiatives.

“People are surprised to learn that they can make these simple repairs and turn that money into a catalyst for much-needed projects,” Olea Edge Analytics CEO Dave Mackie said. “Everyone is looking for an edge in funding, especially during these economic times. This platform gives them that.”

Water bills are one of the few significant ways that cities make money. Airports, taxes and special events are a few of the other types of revenue generators; however, water bills can generate revenue right away, assuming that the system is working correctly.

Olea Edge Analytics’ history with numerous utilities shows that up to 40% of all high-volume commercial water meters can be underbilled and need repair. And under normal conditions, commercial water meters can lose accuracy by more than 10% per year.

The blockchain architecture within CityEdge validates water usage data from the moment it leaves the meter’s sensors to the moment it reaches the customer. Encrypted data in the blockchain ledger is distributed across every device in the network, making it more secure and traceable.

The platform also creates a digital twin—a virtual replica of a physical product or system—of every meter on the network. A full suite of sensors monitors and provides advanced analytics for each component in the system.


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