Bentley Systems Inc.

10/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/26/2021 10:14

DTK Hydronet Designs Smart Water Network For 24x7 Potable Water In India

Using Bentley's OpenFlows in a Connected Data Environment Saved 60% in Overall Design Time.

Meeting Demands for Centralized Water Supply

An ancient town located on the banks of the majestic Brahmaputra River, Dibrugarh is home to world-famous tea plantations and is an emerging epicenter for education, industry, and health care in India's Assam region. Despite being situated along the riverside, residents have no access to clean drinking water, relying on shallow hand pumps, bore wells, and unprotected ponds to obtain water, which is contaminated with arsenic.

Given the unreliable, inequitable supply and highly compromised quality, there was an urgent demand for a comprehensive water distribution project. To meet that demand, the government of India launched an initiative to set up water infrastructure to ensure adequate supply to cover 25,391 households, catering to the 167,733 people currently living in Dibrugarh. The USD 25 million project is intended to improve the health and welfare of the town's population by providing a safe and sustainable water supply.

DTK Hydronet Solutions was hired as the consulting engineer serving the contractor and utility. The project scope includes design, engineering, procurement, and construction of a 220-kilometer water system, featuring raw and clear water transmission mains, pumping systems, an integrated pipeline distribution network, and service connections to all households. To ensure 100% coverage, servicing the city's 24 municipal zones projected to have 244,682 residents by 2050, DTK Hydronet faced design, engineering, and coordination challenges. These challenges were also compounded by the utility's 15% limitation on nonrevenue water (NRW) and a short project schedule amid a global pandemic.

Establishing Digital Engineering Processes

To meet current demands and ensure the new infrastructure could accommodate future water requirements, DTK Hydronet wanted to implement hydraulic modeling and analysis for the entire project. This process would allow them to build an integrated digital asset management system that could be used throughout lifecycle operations of the water network. However, they faced challenges working with the utility's conventional file sharing methods and its lack of any central data repository, making it difficult to perform hydraulic analyses within the designated timeline. "It was an impossible task for us to work on their spreadsheets and conduct hydraulic studies in the stipulated timeframe," commented Devashri Karve, hydraulics engineer and co-founder at DTK Hydronet.

Furthermore, with no contractual provision for district metered areas (DMAs), DTK Hydronet had to present various design scenarios to the contractor and utility. These scenarios would help visualize and understand the importance of these DMAs to achieve buy-in and approval for the most reliable, cost-efficient water supply system. Therefore, the team was required to automate modeling tasks, analysis, and generation of design reports and bills of quantity to enable quick turnaround times.

Given the utility's manual methods and antiquated technology, DTK Hydronet knew that they had to implement a coordinated digital engineering process. They decided to establish an open, connected data environment, digitalizing engineering workflows and asset data to optimize collaboration, design, and, eventually, lifecycle operations.

Leveraging Bentley's Open Applications

Already familiar with Bentley applications, DTK Hydronet selected ProjectWise to develop a GIS cloud-based platform and OpenFlows to perform hydraulic modeling and analysis. ProjectWise served as the central repository to store, share, manage, and track all engineering and asset data and models. Accessible to the contractor, utility, and the DTK Hydronet design team, the software provided a single source of truth of all project information and models. The collaborative environment optimized communication and tracked deliverables, streamlining the design and approval process. Using the issue resolution feature enabled the contractor and client to directly comment on the reports and models, providing DTK Hydronet with a visual understanding of their issues to quickly amend the designs and help keep the project on schedule. "ProjectWise proved to be our lifesaver, especially amidst the project deadlines in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic had hit the world," stated Karve.

To develop the initial hydraulic models and help the contractor and utility understand the importance of considering DMAs, DTK Hydronet relied on OpenFlows WaterGEMS to generate and evaluate over 100 scenarios, demonstrating that there would be equitable supply within every operational zone. Using the software and models, they conducted dynamic pressure management studies to ensure adequate pressures within the DMAs, avoiding unnecessary high pressures during low-demand hours and minimizing NRW to meet the 15% restriction. DTK Hydronet performed detailed transient analysis of the raw and clear water transmission networks with OpenFlows HAMMER to understand failure cases and safeguard the project. Leveraging Bentley's open applications, they established collaborative digital engineering and asset management processes, creating a finalized 3D utility network model, available via web-based and mobile devices to collect and update asset health data in real time.

Digitalization Transforms Utility Management

"We could not have carried out all these studies without Bentley technology. Honestly, it is unimaginable," said Tanay Kulkarni, CEO of DTK Hydronet. Using OpenFlows WaterGEMS, DTK Hydronet saved 80% in initial modeling time, compared to conventional practices, and developed a new methodology to optimize the pipeline network design. They used the models to conduct operational analysis that saved up to two hours of pumping every day, optimizing energy consumption. With OpenFlows HAMMER, they performed comprehensive surge analysis, which resulted in a 15% reduction in inventory costs. Working in a connected data environment with Bentley's hydraulic modeling applications, DTK Hydronet completed the entire project in 50 days, 70 days ahead of schedule, saving 60% in overall design time amid a global pandemic.

Through the application of Bentley's advanced technology, DTK Hydronet established a comprehensive digital water distribution facility with an asset management system that is completely integrated with OpenFlows. They achieved a 24×7 clean water supply in Dibrugarh for the first time. The 3D network model provides an accurate visualization of the water infrastructure that helps the utility better understand and monitor asset health, optimizing operations, maintenance, and management of the entire water scheme. In the future, they plan to connect the model to SCADA systems for real-time data analysis and lifecycle operations management, transforming conventional utility management methods.

- Gena Hayes

Product Marketing Manager Civil Design, Bentley Systems