MWD Technology Needs Assessment

Metropolitan Water District

Real Property

  • Geotechnical profiling non-invasive technology to I.D. ground water basins, soil infiltration rates, soil I.D.
  • Robust, accurate and repeatable water measuring technologies for flood irrigation in farms
  • Remote surveillance systems to manage our large properties that are not visited frequently
  • Environmentally friendly and permeable materials for road covers to replace asphaltic concrete installation, maintenance and replacement



  • Large-diameter pipe condition assessment technology
  • Below-ground non-invasive utility location/identification technology
  • Dam and water-bearing structures condition monitoring technology
  • Energy storage technologies integrated with solar power generation systems



Water Resource Management

  • Aerial/Satellite data for analysis
  • Crop/plant water use (Evapotranspiration, plant water requirements, plant health, etc.)
  • High resolution Plant/Crop identification (Urban & Ag sectors)
  • Remote sensing of water deliveries to agricultural fields
  • Water saving opportunities in the outdoor sector
  • Regional device saturation. Determine all residential water using equipment and water use (ex: 40% saturation of high efficiency washers versus using 25 gallons per load for new ones and the old stock is at 45 gallons)



Information Technology

  • Business Intelligence/Data Analytics to enhance operational and financial efficiency
  • Strategic Asset Management




  • Invoice trackers
  • Tool analysis for Improved investment decision making process
  • Budgeting systems



Water Systems and Operations

On-line monitoring for potable reuse treatment trains

Minimizing treatment failures and, when necessary, quickly responding to failures is critical for advanced water treatment trains, particularly in direct potable reuse applications.  Application of robust real-time, online sensors to monitor process integrity, microbial breakthrough, and chemical breakthrough is needed.


Remote monitoring for cyanobacteria detection and management

Monitoring source waters in large systems such as Metropolitan’s can require extensive time and labor, which can potentially delay operational decisions for managing cyanobacterial blooms.  Real-time (or near real-time) acquisition of water quality data using remote sensing devices, coupled with a robust data transmission and reporting system, would improve detection and ultimately management of problematic blooms.


Strategies for managing cyanobacterial blooms in lakes

One of the primary strategies Metropolitan has used to manage cyanobacterial blooms is the application of copper sulfate.  Although effective, this does not address the primary cause of the bloom which is the availability of nutrients.  Technologies and applications to manage nutrients in large source water reservoirs would help to potentially reduce frequency and improve management of problematic blooms.


Water flow meter accuracy

Member agencies often ask Metropolitan to verify the accuracy of service connection billing meters (meter error must be <2 percent).  Determining the accuracy of billing meters can be very difficult and time consuming.  Innovative methods need to be developed to address this issue.


Water flow meter operating range

Water flow meters typically operate accurately at a 10:1 turndown ratio (e.g. a flow range from 4 cfs to 40 cfs).  Due to low flow conditions throughout the service area, there is a critical need to expand the operating range of service connection billing meters.  Reliable and accurate meter technology needs to be developed (or enhanced) to increase the turndown ratio of billing meters from 10:1 to 20:1 and beyond.


Equipment diagnostic testing

Evaluating the condition of process equipment is critical in order to prevent unplanned shutdowns and costly repairs.  Real-time diagnostic tools need to be developed to monitor equipment condition before failures occur.  Examples include on-line sensors to monitor the integrity of pumps and valves in the treatment and distribution systems.


Strategies for minimizing the impacts of quagga mussels

The growth and accumulation of quagga mussels on process equipment can impact water operations and damage equipment.  Application of technologies to prevent quagga mussels from attaching to surfaces like trash racks and pipes would significantly reduce operating costs.  Technologies using ultrasonic or electrical principles may merit further investigation.


SCADA cyber security

Protection of Metropolitan’s control system from internal and external treats is critical.  User friendly, and easily configurable, SCADA intrusion prevention and detection tools are needed to protect the control system from this evolving security threat.


External Affairs

  • Chatbots that can run automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet.  Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.
  •  Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and robotic scanning to archive images, information and  have the ability to make timely changes and periodic updates.




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The Metropolitan Water District
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