Nalco Digitizes Water Management for Reduced Cost, Risk, Peak Sustainability

By Larry O'Brien

Technology Trends

By 2030, demand for fresh water is projected to outpace supply by almost 40 percent. Ecolab, a leading global provider of water, hygiene and energy technology solutions, strives to help address the threat of this water shortage, as businesses begin to realize that better solutions are needed to minimize water consumption – not only to increase their efficiency and reduce costs but to help reduce the environmental and social impact of water wastage too. At the recent ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Director of Power Marketing Katy Cope presented Ecolab subsidiary Nalco Water's vision for using technology to drive change from two directions: gathering and analyzing data to improve production processes, and then using the aggregated data to create solutions with a good business value proposition.  

An IoT-Based Approach

Using Microsoft Azure cloud to enhance its ability to deliver personalized services and drive innovation, Nalco can connect to thousands of sensors in facilities worldwide.  Nalco’s 3D TRASAR platform for real-time water monitoring collects and analyzes real-time water usage data to improve efficiency and cut water, energy, and operational costs. The company is taking full advantage of the Microsoft Azure platform, including the Azure IoT Suite, to accelerate water scarcity solutions for customers across multiple industries around the world. 

In addition to TRASAR, Ecolab has developed a Water Risk Monetizer that enables companies to quickly and easily assess how water availability and quality could impact their ability to operate, grow and generate profit. Water Risk Monetizer is also built on Microsoft Azure and assess water-related risks at a site and enterprise level. The tool can help end users make a better business case for proactive water management strategies and prioritize locations for investment based on water scarcity risk. In short, it helps customers understand the full value of water to their operation. 

Microsoft Drastically Reduces Data Center Water Costs

Microsoft recently used the Water Risk Monetizer to help inform strategic water management decisions at its data center in San Antonio, Texas.  The data center is located within the Leon Creek Watershed, an extremely water-stressed region which also presents water quality issues due to flooding, storms and stream bank erosion. Data from the Water Risk Monetizer revealed that the risk-adjusted value of Microsoft’s water use at this data center was more than 11 times greater than the current water bill presented by the San Antonio Water System. The numbers made the business case. Microsoft installed Nalco’s TRASAR, which enabled the plant to reliably use recycled water instead of potable water, saving Microsoft more than $140,000 in water costs and avoiding the use of 58.3 million gallons of potable water per year.  

Digital Transformation for Water Management

Engage with ARC Advisory Group