Smart Water Infrastructure is up to the Challenge

11 Mar 2015 | Susan Diegelman

Tagged: Planet, Caring for the Planet,

The First in a Series About Machine-to-Machine Technology and Water Management.

The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the U.S. drinking water infrastructure a grade “D” in its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure—stating there are 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States. Trillions of gallons of water a year are lost through leaks in part due to “leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.” With aged water pipes that date back to the turn of the century—a few of which are still surprisingly made of wood—America’s crumbling water infrastructure is in dire need of an upgrade.

Smart water technology can help utilities address these challenges. Smart solutions take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and, in some cases, improve quality of life.

Our NIST Challenge team will showcase the benefits of smart, network-based water technology and provide a model that can be scaled and repeated around the country and globally.

Along with Mueller Water Co and IBM, AT&T is participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Global Smart Cities Challenge. This smart cities demonstration will showcase wireless networks’ ability to power every day solutions for large utility problems.

So how do networks help our water infrastructure? Sensors placed in water distribution and fire protection (think fire hydrants) infrastructure collect data about pressure, temperature and leak detection, then wirelessly transmit that data to a smart dashboard monitored by the utility. Powered by wireless broadband networks, this technology interconnects utilities and empowers them with real time monitoring and two-way communications.

By investing in these technologies, utilities can proactively locate and resolve leaks, monitor decreases or increases in water pressure and monitor video feeds, which ensure security for our critical water distribution infrastructure.

The technology also benefits consumers by allowing them access to the dashboards and the opportunity to make informed choices about energy consumption based on usage and cost.

Our NIST Challenge team will showcase the benefits of smart, network-based water technology in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and provide a model that can be scaled and repeated around the country and globally. This is the first blog in a series that will document our Global Smart Cities Challenge journey.

Read the second and third blog posts in this series on our NIST Challenge project.

About the Author

Susan Diegelman

Director of Public Affairs, AT&T


Susan brings 20 years of professional experience to AT&T Public Affairs. A veteran of the enterprise software and hosting industries, Susan is well-versed in marketing communications and market strategy in the IT and Telecom industries. Having Joined AT&T’s Public Affairs team in June 2013, she works closely with stakeholders in the seniors and disability communities as well as the education and energy industries.

Susan formerly served as the Director of the Strategic Messaging at AT&T Business Solutions. Previous to that, she held the position of Marketing Director for AT&T’s GEM and Wholesale marketing team. In these roles Susan worked across corporate resources to establish public relations and marketing programs. Susan lead the teams responsible for development of thought leadership content, content merchandizing strategies, segment advertising and collateral and managed a robust events program at the regional and national levels.

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