The social value of ICTs applied to Water

ByLiliana Velasco- 21 / 03 / 2014

Many of us work on ICT projects and often hear that we should optimize resources by applying processes and policies as optimally as possible. However, we may not be aware that when we apply or combine these elements, we can generate improvements in the lives of people throughout society, thus providing a social value to our work.

During the development of projects that involve "water", the most valued resource on the planet, we can see how information technologies (IT) play a strategic role in management policies and how they can influence people's behavior and the knowledge society has about water itself.

For example, projects that involve automation of the distribution network by using remote control devices, obtaining and analyzing information about any of the network elements in real time, can optimize decision-making of operators when responding to alarms, incidents, alerts or quality problems in the water.

The implementation of forecast and simulation solutions helps us to achieve planning objectives and contribute to guaranteeing demand.

More precise monitoring of water use by the end customer through measurement and analysis techniques allows us to inform the consumer of his real use of water and the effect it has on the environment, thus increasing awareness of consumers of their real consumption of water.

The application of social network techniques to improve interaction between consumers and the companies that manage the service will achieve greater participation of citizens in the field of comprehensive water management.

These are some examples of the contributions of ICTs. However, it is true that defining the concept of "social value" in our work or projects is not easy, partly because it cannot be measured tangibly and because we lack the knowledge of the social value that each of us can contribute.

Measuring the Social Value of our work should be as important as the added value of economic processes. Do you know your social value? Do you know the effort required to generate it? Surely we would be surprised if we knew it.