The New Straits Times reports that communities in Johor and Perlis in Malaysia are reeling from a water shortage following a prolonged drought that has affected their livelihoods and the way they live.

The report references some of the challenges which i2O’s clients routinely face: water scarcity compounded by more extreme weather events, and increasing population size.

The water shortage means that water is rationed and this has had a detrimental impact on domestic and commercial customers.

i2O’s technology is already used by some of the water utilities in Malaysia to assist with water rationing.  The key advantage that it brings is the ability to guarantee the times when water is and isn’t available.  Without the technology, the network changes need to be implemented manually and it is difficult to guarantee the timing of this and to do it without causing further damage to the network.  This exacerbates the frustration of customers.

The article demands short and long term plans of action for addressing these challenges rather than the usual platitudes: declarations of calamity and promises of preventing a repeat.  It calls specifically for a school-based campaign to encourage more parsimonious use of such a precious commodity.

i2O recommends that the plan of action should have 5 components:

  1. Build new supply & treatment infrastructure
  2. Reduce demand through behaviour change and regulation
  3. Reduce real losses the traditional way: pipe replacement, leak detection
  4. Deploy smart metering
  5. Make networks smart

Of the 5 components, i2O advocates smart networks as the starting point.  Smart networks mean permanently deployed communicating sensors on the network, software that analyses that data and derives actionable insight, and hardware that enables the network to be controlled remotely and automatically optimised.  Whilst the other 4 components require large amounts of money and/or time to produce an effect, smart networks can bring immediate relief and buy time to make longer-term plans.

The article is right to point out though that lack of action will mean an unprecedented water crisis in the future.  i2O stands ready to help.