Managing every gallon: Ecolab conserves water with data and cloud intelligence

Fresh water is a vital resource, but as the world becomes more populated, the massive need for water in manufacturing, agriculture and urban development is outpacing availability. The 2030 Water Resource Group, a public-private group hosted by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., predicts that global demand for water will exceed supply by 40 percent in the next 13 years.

That’s if business continues as usual.

Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, is working to stem the water crisis through data and cloud intelligence. With the Microsoft Cloud, Ecolab captures data from a million customer facilities around the world and transforms it into insight that helps customers save over 140 billion gallons of water a year.

“One of the best things the cloud has provided us is being able to take over 27 billion data points, across these million customer sites, and turn that into more actionable intelligence,” said Julie Lindley, Ecolab marketing director. “So [customers] can make better cars, milk, steel or paper while using less water.”

Data is collected almost every 6 seconds from thousands of sensors, via 3D TRASAR, a technology from Ecolab company Nalco Water, that monitors water quality.

Ecolab wants to help industrial customers reduce water use by 25 to 75 percent, an ambitious goal in manufacturing, which uses enormous amounts of the natural resource. But by 2030, Ecolab wants to conserve 300 billion gallons of water a year – the equivalent of drinking water for 1 billion people – to create an impact rippling widely around the world.