Water Infrastructure Uplifting Fiber

The widespread provision of fiber optic connectivity, also known as fiber densification, is one of the essential concerns of our day. Beyond the apparent requirement for next-generation internet access, ultra-fast fiber connectivity is necessary for business, industry, and a nation’s economy. The Internet of Things, which requires the high-locational availability of ultra-fast fiber connections, will be the foundation of the SMART Infrastructure for cities and utilities. Smart infrastructure utilizes the existing water infrastructure to install fiber cables, creating a well-established network for a community.

Saudi Arabia’s Step 

The Water Regulator and the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST) of Saudi Arabia have reached an accord through a memorandum of understanding (MOU). It will help the parties make the most of the infrastructure in the water industry to increase the Kingdom’s fiber optic coverage.

They want to identify a workable fiber optics extending method by exchanging knowledge and assistance depending on each party’s area of expertise. By maintaining infrastructure, cutting network delivery costs, expanding user access, developing novel solutions to improve service quality, and minimizing drilling and extending impacts, this collaboration is anticipated to boost telecom infrastructure and offer fiber optics to households.

The signing ceremony between H.E. Eng. Mansour Al Mushaiti, vice minister of environment, water, and agriculture and chairman of the steering committee of the Water Regulator, and H.E. Dr. Mohammad Altamimi, CST governor, were witnessed by H.E. Eng. Abdulrahman AlFadley, minister of environment, water, and agriculture, and H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, minister of communications and information technology.

Why Water Infrastructure Is Ideal

Water pipes already connect communities and connect Water Company assets, making them the perfect pre-made channel for communications to travel. From a Water Company and community standpoint, the Atlantis Hydrotec® system is especially suitable for extra-urban and rural areas where excellent connectivity and fiber optics are scarce.

Since trenchless installation is the norm, it is quick, affordable, and completed with the slightest disturbance from associated civil works. So it is also a very environmentally friendly and green method. Being trenchless also eliminates most concerns with wayleave and permits to work often involved with extensive civil trenching activities. Compared to the usual civil dig trenching rate of 50m/day, a 1km/day install rate is easily accomplished.

Directing the Messenger Pipe to a different fiber containment unit after it has been installed (another nearby small vault, hand-hole, or an above-ground service box) is possible. Communications engineers will only require direct access to Water Company assets or lockers in this fashion. From the ends of the Messenger Pipe, all work can be done.

Water Infrastrucutre Can Be the Future

The Internet of Things, a complete, all-encompassing next-generation communications platform, will need to be the foundation of SMART Water Networks. Most water companies have used various communication methods, including twisted copper pairs, phone lines, low-power radio, mobile phone-based, microwave linkages, etc. Currently, a unified and fast communications platform is needed more and more. 

Fiber optic cables provide the best option. In extra-urban, remote, and rural areas, where many (if not most) crucial Water Company assets are based, these typically do not exist (or, if available, are very expensive). This is although they are frequently available in metropolitan areas. Where alternative communications methods are either prohibitively expensive or extremely difficult, water infrastructure is ideally situated to supply this new unified and high-speed fiber optic platform throughout a water company’s region. As a part of a highly interconnected network connecting water company assets and the communities they serve, water pipe infrastructure makes an excellent platform. When fiber optics are used, this highly interconnected network is frequently referred to as the “Internet of Pipes.” 

Water infrastructure can allow water companies to build their own SMART Water Network, which can deliver high-speed links between assets and communities as well as a fully integrated, real-time pipeline condition monitoring, leak detection, burst location, and third-party intrusion system, as well as an infinite number of evidential grade CCTV feeds. Water companies now have leak reduction goals, but it can be challenging to pinpoint leak locations and severity to plan and schedule corrective maintenance. You can use one fiber strand in a fiber cable installed within a water pipe to create a distributed sensor that offers unmatched sensitivity and accuracy for leak detection because it is inside the tube. This system works in real-time, around-the-clock, 365 days a year, and instantly notifies users of events.

Wrap Up

Water Infrastructure presents a golden opportunity. Since the pipes are already there, connecting communities and providing the opportunity to save a step on building a mapped infrastructure for the network. Governments and operators can save up on the costs of building such networks and allow redistribution of investment to uplift other aspects of networks that need extra care. To be able to start building a network with a quarter of the work already done for you is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss.

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