León, Mexico Monitors Water System with Google Earth, Other Software Systems

5 Dec 2013 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
LEÓN, Mexico

Engineers from the Potable Water and Sewerage System of León (SAPAL) in Mexico's Guanajuato state have designed and constructed its own software system to control and monitors its water network and wells.

Through a system of screens connected to Google Earth, SAPAL directly monitors its system, with data like address, owner, account status, and water consumption, Excelsior newspaper reported last week.

"The software has been generated internally -- it is SAPAL's, made by people here, who studied in our universities," the paper quoted Agustín Báez Vázquez, SAPAL’s manager of Operations and Maintenance, as saying.

He said that in the past, the utility had difficult experiences with companies from Chihuahua state and the United States. The companies did not take responsibility for the poor functioning of their software systems, despite elevated costs, Báez said, so SAPAL chose to develop its own technology, starting in the 1990s -- at just one-fifth the cost of using US software.

SAPAL's Control and Monitoring Center has a video wall with 24 LED screens, measuring 7.5 by 2 meters, and functions 24 hours a day, monitoring details of water distribution.

"We monitor wells, pipelines, and tanks. We see the number of wells which are working and the volume of water being sent at any moment to the city of León," said Báez. At the time of interview, the city was receiving 2,366 liters of water per second, which is an average quantity for the middle of a week day.

"We want to have measurement from point of extraction to final use,” he said, since “what is not measured in not controlled."

SAPAL’s system has the ability to deliver up to 9,000 data points from the entire system, which can be used to collect statistics and make timely decisions about water use. 

This story is brought to readers free in association with Singapore International Water Week.