Solving Water Access Problems With IoT Innovation

To find a solution for managing the world’s aging water infrastructure, Innovyze pushed IoT to the “bleeding-edge” — giving municipalities intelligence to prevent critical water losses.


Today, 771 million people globally lack access to safe drinking water. In the U.S., the majority of the nation’s water infrastructure is over 100 years old, and a water main break occurs every two minutes. Pipe leakage results in a loss of 4.6 billion gallons of drinking water every year. In Japan, the country’s water authority estimates it will cost $500 billion to rehabilitate aging water infrastructure assets.

To say that we are in a water crisis is an understatement. Something must be done to ensure better management of water infrastructure around the world.

These dire statistics are what motivated Innovyze to develop intelligent water management systems on the latest technologies, including cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Innovyze CTO Rick Gruenhagen.

“This shows the company’s deep commitment to creating a more sustainable world through an intelligent, end-to-end water infrastructure solution,” said Gruenhagen. “Today, there’s a sense of urgency about building solutions around water assets today. This is underscored by the U.S. Federal Government Act that will provide infrastructure funding.”

In this podcast, Gruenhagen discusses how Innovyze is creating new water management solutions with Jeff DeVerter, Chief Technical Evangelist at Rackspace Technology® and host of Cloud Talk.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Creating an advanced technology solution for the global water infrastructure management industry
  • How Innovyze is pushing the “bleeding-edge” of AI and machine learning using hundreds of models
  • How the right partners can accelerate the roadmap to critical innovation
  • The importance of merging the world’s water infrastructure data silos
  • Why it’s really tough to be cloud-agnostic when it comes to innovation today

“To transform the way water infrastructure is managed around the world and make it more capable of supporting more effective water management, we approached the water infrastructure challenge as an IoT problem,” explaines Gruenhagen.

Innovyze allows water managers to gain access to a wealth of data for analyzing infrastructure management across the entire lifecycle. For example, they can run what-if scenarios to determine the ramifications of a water break, blockage or lead exposure in a particular location.

Understanding the most critical conditions of the infrastructure allows them to perform preemptive maintenance to avoid a crisis before it occurs. Using tools, they can create maintenance models that provide financial forecasting and budgeting, so they can spend their money where it will have the greatest impact. 

“Our solution takes water infrastructure management organizations from a position of reacting when something bad happens to really understanding what their risk profile is and being able to proactively prioritize and address issues ahead of time before anything breaks,” says Gruenhagen.

To create such an advanced solution, Innovyze relied on the support of several partners, including AWS and Onica by Rackspace Technology® to augment its existing technology team of 130 employees.

Gruenhagen explains, “We have a lot of in-house knowledge but did not have the skill level to accomplish innovation in IoT, AI and machine learning. We brought in experts to work with our team and teach them new skills so they could advance on our transformational journey to the cloud.”


Cloud Talk covers topics like multicloud, digital transformation, containers and Kubernetes, IoT, edge computing, data and more. Episodes are short and sweet — around half an hour — and available from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else podcasts can be found.

Listen & Follow


Join the Conversation: Find Solve on Twitter and LinkedIn, or follow along via RSS.

Stay on top of what's next in technology

Learn about tech trends, innovations and how technologists are working today.


The Future of Collaboration is the End of Email

About the Authors

rackspace logo

Rackspace Technology Staff - Solve

The Solve team is made up of a curator team, an editorial team and various technology experts as contributors. The curator team: Srini Koushik, CTO, Rackspace Technology Jeff DeVerter, Chief Technology Evangelist, Rackspace Technology The editorial team:  Gracie LePere, Program Manager Royce Stewart, Chief Designer  Simon Andolina, Design Tim Mann, Design Abi Watson, Design Debbie Talley, Production Manager  Chris Barlow, Editor  Tim Hennessey Jr., Writer Stuart Wade, Writer Karen Taylor, Writer Meagan Fleming, Social Media Specialist Daniel Gibson, Project Manager

Read more about Rackspace Technology Staff - Solve