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The state of water software – AWWA ACE conference

Eric Trembly

Eric Trembly

This report comes to you from our own Eric Trembly, senior support engineer at DNV GL – Software, from his recent excursion to the American Water Works Association’s Annual Conference and Exposition, or AWWA ACE for short.  Take it away Eric!


This year’s AWWA conference was in Philadelphia, which is only a short drive from our eighty member strong DNV GL – Software team in Mechanicsburg.  With over thirty years of supporting the water industry, it was crucial for us to attend and hear about our industry’s challenges.

I was able to attend several presentations that were relevant to us and our customers:

Solutions to Optimize Pumping Systems in Today’s Water and Wastewater Facilities.  This presentation discussed how to help utilities manage their energy usage.  Because the electricity cost to operate pump facilities is so sizeablei, this is a key topic.  Fortunately, our Synergi Water software supports even the most complex electric rate structures, for accurate modelling of electric power contracts for pump facilities.  This allows operators to run pumps in a manner that is most cost effective for them.

Engineering Modeling Applications Committee (EMAC) Meeting.  A very lively meeting, and my first instance of how system assessments are becoming even more important in today’s water systems. Since this is so vital, next year the EMAC committee is planning to work with the AWWA Assets Committee to do a joint presentation about asset management.  This concept of merging the modeling and asset management activities aligns nicely with our Pipeline Ecosystem concept.

Some attendees expressed the need to analyze their model by taking each pipe out of service, one at a time.  With the Reliability module of Synergi Water, they are able to do just that!

Water software - AWWA conference

Source: AWWA

Big Data and Water Utilities.  This was just what it sounds like: presentations on the massive amounts of data available to and produced by water utilities. First part was about utilizing GIS data, the second furthered the ideas, and the last presentation was about analytics.  The development of our new Veracity industry data platform should support this growing need in the industry.

Leveraging Non-revenue Water Data.  Water loss is becoming more ‘trackable’ as water systems get smarter. These presentations discussed water loss data.  AWWA is offers a free water audit program, to assist utilities in reviewing their system for losses.

Synergi Water softwareDistribution Modeling—Advanced Applications.  A most noteworthy point is that one of our Synergi Water software customers presented at this session.  He spoke on the topic of using computational models to manage an aging infrastructure (anyone noticing a pattern here?  Assets, assets, assets!).  There was a discussion of Water Hammer, and then a presentation on Reducing Energy costs with Dynamic Simulation.  This presentation looked very much like the Pump Scheduling capabilities within the core Synergi Water product.

Attendees expressed a desire to more accurately model valves and controls via the US Environmental Protection Agency’s EPANet modeling tool.  But those whom I spoke to were quite impressed to hear that we seamlessly use EPANet models in Synergi Water.

Water software to address the industry’s pain points

In summary, it was enlightening to hear the problems that our industry is wrestling with.  But it’s also satisfying to be able to address those problems with our water software and solutions.  Looking forward to next year’s event!

2 Comments Add your comment
Andy Schulte says:

Interesting read – since the original development of SWS (Stoner Workstation Service – then SynerGEE, now Synergi) in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, there has been continuous technical evolution and growing business decision dependency on simulation software. Yet, in spite of the updated capabilities this also brings back many similar conversations held in similar venues about 30 years ago. Thanks for sharing and bringing back some good memories.

Tom Ginn says:

Eric – Thanks for the perspectives.

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