As part of our work for Anglian Water Services (AWS), Mark recently attended the SWAN Conference in London. SWAN (the Smart Water Networks Forum) is a worldwide industry forum promoting the use of data technologies in water networks, making them smarter, more efficient and more sustainable. The conference was well attended with around 200 delegates from organisations including companies in the water and smart water space, water companies from the UK and abroad, consultants, and researchers from academia working in the water sector. You can see highlights of the conference, who spoke, and their slides on the SWAN website.

 

Simon Harrison (of AWS and the WITS Chairman) presented on behalf of WITS at the conference, see the picture below which I snapped at the start of his presentation. Simon’s presentation was part of a discussion session on interoperability on the first day of the conference. The presentation introduced the attendees to WITS, what it was, the problems it addressed and how successful rollout of the protocol has been. In case you have missed some of our other articles on WITS you can find out more on the WITS website. Terzo Digital are members of WITS and Mark Davison is a serving member of the WITS PSAC which governs the WITS-DNP3 protocol, the fundamental output of WITS.

The interoperability session was led by Michal Koenig or Qualcomm and also featured Dr Andreas Hauser of TÜV SÜD who is the lead of the interoperability working group within SWAN. This working group are preparing to present their first white paper on the various protocols they have been researching which have applicability to the collection of water data; these include the WITS-DNP3 protocol. This white paper is expected to be available to SWAN members by the end of April 2016.

Although there were a number of interesting discussion panels and talks during the conference, a few in particular caught my attention. In one discussion panel on “Reinforcing data confidence”, Simon Aston, the National Security Officer for Microsoft presented some of the benefits of using Azure to host cloud services and introduced the UK Governments “Summary of Cloud Security Principles”. These are 14 principles which cloud service providers and their users should consider when evaluating cloud services.

Also of interest was a panel session on “The role of smart water in emerging countries”. This session included talks from Brazil, Greece, China and India. It was fascinating to hear the problems they face and the state of play in each of these countries. A salutary reminder that not everyone on the planet has a water system in the same state as that in the UK. Hopefully the initiatives in smart water happening now will help other countries improve their own water systems without having to go through the same learning curve other countries already have.

Mark Davison, Terzo Digital, April 2014

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