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[Weekender] K-water harnesses tech convergence

State-run company leads smart water management

Korea Water Resources Corp., better known as K-water, is giving an impetus to its smart water management system in a bid to increase water and energy efficiency in water supply systems by making use of advanced ICT technologies.

The state-run water resources management corporation adopted the Smart Water Management Initiative, which underlines the convergence of information, communication and technology into the water management process, aiming to maximize water resource efficiency.

“The future generation of water management goes far beyond the supply of drinking water,” said Park Ki-young, manager of the future strategy department at K-water. 

The multipurpose Daecheong Dam in Daejeon is responsible for flood control, water supply and hydroelectric power generation. (K-water)
The multipurpose Daecheong Dam in Daejeon is responsible for flood control, water supply and hydroelectric power generation. (K-water)

He said SWMI is designed to increase the stability of fresh water supply to citizens by adjusting the supply to the actual consumption, while minimizing energy consumption through smart grid integration and water spillage through leak detection.

“Through the SWMI, we will push for a technology upgrade of the country’s water management system and actively engage with related goods and services export to overseas markets,” he said.

During the seventh World Water Forum, which will take place in Korea from April 12-17, K-water will introduce the initiative to promote Korea’s advanced water technology and help domestic firms to gain a foothold to enter overseas water markets.

“K-water has a competitive edge over other foreign water companies as it deals with a broader spectrum of the total services in accordance with the cycle of water, while others have been focusing on equipment development,” Kim said.

K-water uses smart sensor networks for water flow monitoring and provides a support system for water utilities so that supply and demand patterns can be matched in real-time.

As an additional benefit, water leakage can be predicted with statistical methods so that water network damage can be mended even before it occurs.

The company is dedicated to raising the public’s understanding of the tap water quality. In September last year, K-water partnered with the border city of Paju, Gyeonggi Province, to carry out the pilot program ‘Smart Water City,’ which aimed to change the perceptions about tap water. As part of the effort, the pilot program provided real-time data about water quality to Paju citizens via a mobile application.

“Since the project started, the rate of those who drink tap water has surged to 19.3 percent from only 1 percent. More than 80 percent of citizens also showed satisfaction with the project and water quality improvement,” a K-water official said.

By Park Han-na (