The role of IT in sustainable
water system management

By Prof. Marian Kwietniewski D.Sc. Ph.D. Eng.

Head of Water Supply and Wastewater Management, Warsaw University of Technology

Sustainable water supply to support the population, industry and agriculture requires continuous development, modernisation and appropriate maintenance and operation of modern water supply systems, presenting major challenges for both owners and operators. The implementation of modern IT tools and development of established and new techniques will lead to effective supply system management, particularly:

  • geographic information systems (“GIS”) as a common platform for integrated systems of technical infrastructure management;
  • modelling of technical systems and technological processes; and
  • the reduction of water losses to acceptable levels.

These actions, inspired by the International Water Association, must be introduced so as to ensure the reliable delivery of water with minimal risk of failure in order to meet the requirements of supply users.

There already exists appropriate and successfully-applied methodology for the evaluation of both reliability levels and the risk of water supply systems but further action is required in assessing water quality and water pressure management, together with the planning and implementation of so-called “smart water networks”. Such networks can effectively integrate the behaviour and actions of all consumers connected to the water supply network and its suppliers in order to ensure a sustainable and high-quality supply of water with a low level of losses

Continuous improvement

Partial effects of the development of these IT trends and tools obtained over the past several years are becoming visible in the control of water supply. GIS already supports the management of all major water supply systems and in other systems the rate of implementation is increasing. Furthermore, the security of water supply to consumers is improving significantly; in Poland, there has been around a three-fold increase in reliability levels over the past 15 years and losses of water are decreasing, both in Poland and across other developed countries globally.

These examples of achievement allow us to look to the future with greater hope for further improvement of the quality of life of our international communities.

Biography – Prof. Marian Kwietniewski, DSc, PhD. Eng.

Prof. Marian Kwietniewski, DSc, PhD. Eng. graduated from the Faculty of Sanitary and Water Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology in 1976. In 1986 he was awarded PhD and in 1999 DSc degree (Habilitation) in Technology. He received a title of Professor of Technical Sciences in 2009. Currently he is full Professor at the Warsaw University of Technology and the head of the Water Supply and Wastewater Management Department at the Environmental Engineering Faculty of that university. The main areas of his scientific interests are:

  • research and evaluation of reliability and risk of municipal engineering;
  • development and application of GIS for management and operation of water and sewage systems;
  • planning of new methods for renewal of underground infrastructure;
  • planning and implementation of monitoring of water distribution and sewage systems;
  • evaluation and selection of materials applicable for certain constructions to build and modernize water supply and wastewater systems.