Scada systems essential for smart, sustainable water sector

January 2023 SCADA/HMI

The current water crisis confronting South Africa is due to the sector still largely being burdened by ageing infrastructure, water quality issues and pipe bursts, resulting in 41% of leakages attributable as non-revenue water. “There is room for improvement, but only if the sector can adopt and embrace change,” argues Joyce Moganedi, power and water local division sales manager at ABB.

Cutting-edge solutions can be deployed to ensure sustainable management of the complete water lifecycle. This would mitigate the impact of natural disasters such as drought and floods. Such solutions are centred on supervisory control and data acquisition (scada) systems.

Scada is the most widely used automation system for water applications globally. In a world where every drop of water counts, water and wastewater plants play a critical role in bridging the gap between the growing demand for, and scarcity of, this precious resource. Automation and control technologies are at the core of the challenge.

For example, ABB Ability Symphony Plus scada can easily be adapted or engineered for a broad spectrum of applications in the water and wastewater industry, including water distribution networks, water pumps, water transmission pipes, drinking water, water mains, pumping stations, and wastewater treatment.

“The flexibility and scalability of scada makes it ideal for the entire spectrum of clean power and water installations, be they locally or remotely operated plants, fleets or networks,” notes Moganedi. It allows for specific plant processes to be monitored, controlled and managed.

This ranges from visual oversight of operations, to access to real-time information to monitor plant performance and flag any issues that are cause for concern. It also makes remote operations possible, to boost efficiency and productivity. “Most importantly, the ability to predict any failures, and deploy mitigating measures timeously, allows us to manage our water infrastructure assets smartly,” says Moganedi.

However, the uptake of scada systems in the water sector is hampered by a lack of project funding and slow implementation. “Responsible and efficient water usage can only be achieved by the automation, electrification and digitalisation of South Africa’s water plants to ensure safe, smart and sustainable management of the water cycle,” highlights Moganedi. Only when plants are automated can responsible water use be implemented effectively.

For more information contact ABB South Africa, +27 10 202 5000,,


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Taking mine hoist performance to the next level
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
ABB is launching a new digital suite of applications for hoist monitoring and optimisation, which opens it up for further integration to other cloud solutions and extended offerings that significantly increase the operational performance and reliability of mine hoists.

ABB wins award for excellence in emissions monitoring
ABB South Africa News
ABB has earned the 2023 Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award in the global emissions monitoring systems industry.

Future-proofing industrial operations
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
ABB Ability Field Information Manager (FIM 3.0) has been upgraded to offer system engineers and maintenance teams increased connectivity and extended reach across the latest communication protocols.

ABB and Gravitricity to collaborate on energy storage systems
ABB South Africa Editor's Choice News
ABB has signed an agreement with UK-based gravity energy storage firm Gravitricity to explore how hoist expertise and technologies can accelerate the development and implementation of gravity energy storage systems in former mines.

Greenhouse gas monitoring satellites
ABB South Africa Editor's Choice
ABB has secured a third contract with GHGSat, the global leader in high-resolution greenhouse gas monitoring from space, to manufacture optical sensors for its satellites set to launch into orbit in 2024.

Conveyor drive technology increases energy efficiency
ABB South Africa Motion Control & Drives
LKAB has awarded ABB a contract to install two ABB gearless conveyor drives on the existing conveyor belt system at its Malmberget mine in Sweden. This will enable an increase in annual production, while lowering energy use.

Electromagnetic stirrer for electric arc furnace for steel producer
ABB South Africa Electrical Power & Protection
ABB is providing an ArcSave electromagnetic stirrer to one of the leading German steel producers. The equipment will optimise the metallurgical performance of a new electric arc furnace, which is the first step in a programme to transform the steelmaking process from coal-based to hydrogen-based.

Asset performance management platform
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
ABB has launched ABB Ability SmartMaster, a comprehensive asset performance management platform for verification and condition monitoring of instrumentation and field devices in the water, wastewater, chemical, oil and gas industries.

Automated robot charging technology for mines
ABB South Africa Editor's Choice
ABB has successfully tested its industry-first automated robot charging technology for underground mines. The goal is to make mines safer by automating one of the few manual processes left in mining, charging the blasting holes with explosives.

Five-point action plan to decarbonise South African mining
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Decarbonising the mining industry requires a purposeful methodology combined with a suite of solutions. ABB’s automation and digital portfolio empowers miners to succeed in their all-electric ambitions.