Smart city: Let’s get basics right

ABB offers solutions that address some of the core issues of any city – power, water and gas, helping improve the quality of life while offering digitalization solutions to make livable cities smart.

Run through some headlines captured over time, and most likely your eyes will open wide and then ask the question, “Why is everyone pushing for smart cities and not addressing the core issues that need to be addressed with urgency?”

On water

How ‘Made in India’ technology can help save our water bodies

80% of India’s population faces severe water scarcity: study

22 of India’s 32 big cities face water crisis

Water scarcity could result in some regions losing 6% of their GDP: World Bank report

On Power

India Launches Massive Push for Clean Power, Lighting, and Cars

Many don’t have power in ‘power-surplus India’

Living in the Dark: 240 Million Indians Have No Electricity

Huge T&D losses will constrain efforts to provide electricity for all by …

On Gas

Cleaner, cheaper auto LPG may help improve air quality

India to import LPG from Iran to meet rising demand

State oil companies to add 4500 LPG distribution centers in FY18

At a recent forum on #Smart cities, I heard various policy and technology experts share their views and solutions to building #Smart cities, adding a flavor of Connected devices, #big data, #cloud, #digitalization.

Agreed we stay in a connected world with our heads perpetually bowed down (we no longer bow down to people but to our masters – the smartphone). Everything available at a click so much so we are creating digital walls (with wireless communication) between human communication.

Let’s skip the philosophy –  so smart cities? are we living in cities at all? At the least #livable cities?

Some trivia for thought (India): 100+ Smart cities on the anvil; 2$ trillion worth investments over 20 years; Currently 15+ public-pvt partnerships forged; Smart City Mission to impact urban population of 700 million plus

Let debate “Livable”. Livable according to Thesaurus, Webster, Merriam is around bearable, cozy, habitable, homey, sustainable, tolerable, worthwhile, comfortable…

Boiling down to brass-tacks, most of us would mean cleaner cities, less pollution, lot of greenery, clean water, reliable and dependable power, plentiful of clean air you can breathe, human well-being, safety…the list can be endless (the human race is only racing for “more”…try minimalism and your life is better sorted)

Coming to water…what better way of learning of we have misused this precious resource…check out the #NatGeo video here. Terrible, isn’t it? And worse? 60% of water consumed in homes is in the…you guessed it…bathrooms

Human behavior and technology to better manage water

We need to be humble, admit that we misuse water and most of us hardly want to do anything about it. We can longer find solace in blaming and complaining. So here is what can we done – lets break it up into two broad categories – human behavior and technology

Let’s ask ourselves each day these questions to improve our behavior that helps conserve water

  • Can I use less water in the bathroom? Take a shower maybe twice a week instead of all seven days and use a bucket and mug on other days?
  • May I will wash my vehicle twice or thrice a week instead of alternate days?
  • Do I ensure I don’t keep the tap running while washing utensils or brushing my teeth?
  • What have I done save more water today than I did yesterday?
  • Have I contributed in any way to conserve water in my locality?
  • Is there a way I can help to provide clean water to people deprived of it?

There can be an endless list of possibilities!

Coming to technology the questions and answers to them lie in better measurement, leakage detection, monitoring and management. While the behavior aspect is more an individual effort the use of technology is more on a collective basis.

These are severely dependent on regulations, Government policies, industry and municipal bodies.

To put things in perspective, see how ABB’s #measurement technology helps better measurement and management of water in urban cities and industry…an important aspect of #smart cities. Identifying leakage in water distribution systems is one of the top priorities cities need to address. Read about how ABB helps reduce water loss in Riyadh.

It’s extremely important to have a larger view of #smart cities. Only urban areas and high-density areas cannot be made smart. The entire ecosystem including manufacturing, transportation, consumption – the entire journey from raw material to processing, transportation and consumption needs to be made smart. That is when we humans will benefit from “Smart” else only the city will remain smart and we well…not that smart, but foolish.

So, adapting technology and solutions that help improve quality of life better – reflected in how well we conserve and consume this precious natural resource “Water” is key to smart cities and smarter living.

ABB has instrumentation solutions for #water and #municipal #waste water management through the entire water cycle from extraction, distribution, management and re-processing.

#Water and wastewater #measurement made easy

With global water and wastewater application expertise and knowledge, #ABB is the best partner throughout the entire water cycle. From abstraction to treatment, distribution and the management of the wastewater process, ABB supplies an extensive range of reliable measurement and analytical products, services and solutions meeting customers’ exact requirements.


To ensure the #power sector utilizes lesser water, ABB technologies like the continuous #water analyzer “Navigator” help determine accurately chemical properties of water used in #steam turbines (#boiler feed water). Incorrect values can result in incorrect actions resulting in lowering life of the turbine, reduce throughput and affect capacity utilization. In some cases, improper measurement of chemical properties in water can result in the power plant coming to a grinding halt. The accuracy of dissolved oxygen concentration by the Navigator is 20 in one million parts!

To get a full view of ABB’s solutions for better water measurement and management, click here

water management

This is all for now, in the next line up we will look at power and gas, two ingredients sacred to our lives.

In the next part of this article, we see how #digitalization can be leveraged to better measure, monitor, control and distribute water.