We were impressed by the speed and simplicity with which we were able to build a highly accurate digital twin of our water network. With Qatium, we saw results from day one.

Todd Chapman
Manager of Programs, Water Services at the City of Waterloo

A digital replica for Waterloo’s day-to-day water operations

Compared to most utilities, the City of Waterloo had uniquely limited visibility into their water distribution network when they started working with Qatium’s water management platform. In Waterloo, a regional authority owns and operates all supply and transmission infrastructure in the City’s boundaries, so Waterloo didn’t traditionally have access to the network’s SCADA data or a hydraulic model. And even if they did, they didn’t have the in-house personnel trained to use it.

Meanwhile, the City owns and operates 430 km of water distribution mains, 2,509 fire hydrants, and 3,892 main valves serving 150,000 customers, including 48 hydrant data-logging devices. The data logging devices give Waterloo some insight into pressure, and leakage information, but managers and operators still wanted more actionable information about their network. They wanted to be able to test the outcome of operations before applying them in the real world, so they could make better decisions and ensure uninterrupted service for their customers.

Waterloo needed a low-cost, easy-to-use solution that would give operators, supervisors, and lead hands working in the field a way to use their live data on a day-to-day basis, without having the complex technical knowledge usually required for hydraulic modeling and testing scenarios.

Waterloo’s water network numbers

There are two paths to a digital twin in Qatium. You can build it from scratch just from GIS data, which is amazing in itself. But you can also import EPANET-based models, and that also leads to a digital twin.

Todd Chapman
Manager of Programs, Water Services at the City of Waterloo

Friendly assistant “Q” helps build working model in minutes

Waterloo saw results from day one of their journey with Qatium’s water management platform. The Waterloo team often remarked that the amazing thing about Qatium’s engine is you don’t need a lot of difficult-to-obtain, complex data to get a working model of your water distribution system.

For example, you can import a simple GIS layer of your pipe network, and Qatium’s friendly AI-powered assistant, “Q”, can interpret your network topology and automatically build a working model in minutes. Meanwhile, Q provides insights and suggests ways for you to improve your model moving forward.

Just by uploading Waterloo’s open, publicly available GIS data and a month’s worth of historic data (looped to create a mock live data feed), Qatium easily created a working model for partners at the City to see the platform’s potential impact on their daily operations.

Having a visual representation that allows users to select a pipe and simulate what would happen if we shut that pipe down—see what customers would be impacted, what valves we need to close, and what’s the impact on pressure outside of that shutdown—it’s quite exciting to think that could be at the hands of operators.

Todd Chapman
Manager of Programs, Water Services at the City of Waterloo

Watch a demo of Qatium’s water management platform

Simply connect to live data for predictive modeling & real time visibility into network

Because of Qatium’s easy-to-use interface and straight-forward model-building capabilities, the City wanted to dive in and refine their model with live data, so operators and managers could start using its predictive modeling capabilities.

Connecting live data to your model in Qatium is simple and serves as a way to validate and refine the model’s quality on an ongoing basis. In Waterloo’s case, Qatium uses an API to interface and integrate the City’s live hydrant and SCADA data into their digital replica.

Waterloo operators can now test scenarios in Qatium using the same controls operators are used to using in the field. For example, you can open and close valves and isolate pipes, just like you would during maintenance, and see which customers will be affected and by how much.

Continuous model refinement for Waterloo

Waterloo’s experience is a great example of how simple it is to create your first model in Qatium and refine it over time to meet your needs. The City looks forward to further improving their model with more data streams. They’d like to be able to simulate and analyze fire flow capacity, unidirectional flushing, and water quality in the future. Step-by-step, the City of Waterloo is leveraging Qatium’s water management platform to empower operators to make data-driven decisions in the field.

Interested in putting a digital replica of your system into practice? It’s completely free to create an account with Qatium and start building your own digital twin today.

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