Smart Water Networks

Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area: Other


How do I incorporate “Smart Water” into my hydraulic model?


“Smart Water” is a marketing slogan that refers to the ongoing trend to automate more and more of processes in water and wastewater systems and collect a great deal of data. It is a slogan that became popular in the 2010’s and has many definitions. It reflects all of the computerization efforts that have occurred since computers were first introduced into the industry in the 1960’s. Today, hydraulic modelers have access to more data than ever before and the Bentley Hydraulics and Hydrology products are continually adding capability to access that data.

The Smart Water Analysis Network defines Smart Water as, “There are a lot of varying definitions out there, but we define smart water as a group of emerging technology solutions that help water managers operate more effectively. These solutions harness state-of-the-art hardware and software to provide increasing levels of system intelligence, visibility, automation and control, and customer service.”

Bentley Systems also has an e-book outlining the recent trends in Smart Water technology: Smart Water Networks: Increasing Utilities' ROI on Data

GIS Data

GIS data is often used to build hydraulic models with ease. But the usage of this data is limited to the modeling or planning stage and is absent during the operational and maintenance period. The GIS data-set can store intelligent information such as asset life cycle, cost, operational history etc. for the hydraulic elements modeled which can be useful in making “smart” decisions.

E.g. Pump operational history, life, make etc. information can be stored as attributes which can be imported into the hydraulic model. This information can then be used to simulate “What If?” scenarios for various pump operations.


Connecting a SCADA system to a hydraulic model is a great example of making “smart” decisions and eventually “smart” utilities. The SCADA system can provide real time inputs to the hydraulic model such as flow and pressures which can be used as data for predictive analysis of the network under simulated conditions.

SCADAConnect Simulator is an existing tool within WaterGEMS which can incorporate real time data by communicating with the SCADA server and report the values once configured.

3-D Visualization

3-D visualization of utilities has become imperative to generate layouts. The Subsurface Utility Design and Engineering is a module available on the MicroStation® Platform. Using this we can model utilities in the 3-D environment to understand the physical and functional considerations.

This can also help in clash detection and optimization of network layouts.

Asset Management

To develop a smart model, management of assets is imperative. Asset management involves incorporating field or on-site data regarding assets and analyzing it to develop methodologies to reduce cost, optimize workflow and increase productivity. Bentley’s AssetWise has a host of solutions for monitoring, analyzing, predicting and dashboarding asset information and functionality.


Cloud storage and computing are the next generation in data handling. This is a great tool to conveniently store intelligent information and access it with ease. With multiple “smart” engines collaborating with the hydraulic model, this can be a reliable resource.

We continue to work on solutions to leverage the cloud with your Bentley OpenFlows hydraulic modeling software. Check back for more information on this subject in late 2018.


Automation of routine activities is a logical trend which can be effectively implemented to automate routine activities for the network. Automation can be effectively used to automatically track changes in pressure and flow and follow the prescribed decision matrix (pre-configured) to make changes in the network. This can be as simple as the closing of a valve to isolate part of a network.

Your hydraulic model can be used to check the impact of these actions, to help develop these routines.

Automatic Meter Reading (AMR)/Advanced Metering Infrastructure are more popular these days where AMR replacing the human component of meter reading with remote access and control. Primarily, AMR is used for reading data beneficial to billing cycles. AMI on the other hand is a more complex and powerful tool which measures hourly data in real time and can be configured for reader feedback.

IOT is yet another emerging technology which focuses on capturing data for analysis. The performance of a pump can be tracked in real time by collecting important data.

Operation & Maintenance

Considering the future performance of a water supply or any other utility, operation and regular maintenance has become imperative in today’s world. A hydraulic network can be very useful in understanding the operation and maintenance requirements throughout the design period. Often there is need of upgradation or replacement of components. By integrating the hydraulic model with operation and maintenance schedules one can prepare the hydraulic model to incorporate changes by following “smart” decisions.

Tools in WaterGEMS

Some other existing tools in WaterGEMS which can help develop “smart” utilities;

1. Darwin Designer – Optimize networks based on cost, pressure and pipe size.

2. Darwin Calibrator – Calibrate models as per field data. Helps improve model accuracy.

3. Darwin Scheduler – Optimize pump operations and schedules for a time horizon.

4. Pipe Renewal Planner – Scores pipes based on breaks, criticality and capacity.

5. Pipe Break Analysis – Analyzes historical pipe break data to score pipes. Can be incorporated into the asset maintenance of pipes.

6. Criticality – Analyze your model to identify critical segment and outage events.

See Also

Using Darwin Designer to design pipes in WaterGEMS

Using Darwin Calibrator

Using Darwin Scheduler

SCADAConnect Simulator for WaterGEMS

Understanding OpenFlows | Hydraulics and Hydrology Functionality in Subsurface Utilities / OpenRoads