Project #4978

Application of Big Data for Energy Management in Water Utilities

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Mr. Ashwin Dhanasekar
Utility Management
Energy Optimization
Intelligent Water Systems
Resource Recovery
Big Data


The water sector has increased its attention to energy use, including concerns surrounding rising costs, energy security, and energy reliability. Despite the technological and analytical improvements made around the management, accessibility, interpretation, and visualization of energy data, the application of big data concepts for energy management is still in its infancy. In this context, this contemporary research project addresses these gaps by providing utilities with knowledge on advanced big data analytics for automated data collection and achieving energy efficient, cost-effective operations. This project (1) developed a global understanding of the current use of data infrastructure and data analytics for energy management in drinking water and wastewater utilities; (2) identified the key datasets of value for reducing energy consumption and the costs of pumping operations and treatment processes; (3) identified key data analytics that will support overall resource efficiency, as well as a reductions in energy consumption and the costs of utility operations, and overall resource efficiency; and (4) developed a data plan for a pilot study to optimize energy management schemes. Additionally, this research provides an example approach for the development of a comprehensive data management and analytics strategy at a reference utility, the City of San Diego, which can become a model for future pilot studies. Published in 2021.