A step towards Digital Transformation, Water Office – SCADA integration


This document describes the integration of SCADA with Spatial Asset Management (geospatial data) Smart Water implementations. Generating an intelligent model of your water network is an important part of this process and a major challenge is the need to manage constantly the changes of that network. Registration in a solid geospatial asset data model with connected topology is the foundation for any digital transformation and implementation of analytics.


For water companies, documenting geospatial asset data in a system according to their location and topology is a pre-requisite. Water Office is such a geospatial system. There are 2 types of data registered – one is dynamic data and the other is static data. Dynamic data is data that is continuously updated based on the operation of that asset. For example, a valve changes its status to open, partially open or shut. Static data is data that is initially registered, so for example, the type of valve and its associated specifications.

By combining this digital geospatial asset data with SCADA systems in control rooms enables operators to easily access status information about their assets in their geographically correct locations. A variety of applications such as location of assets, status of assets, fault locations and remote system control are now available. Combining GIS and SCADA enables you to visualize dynamic data related to current conditions with static geospatial asset information. For instance, you can see the location of valves and their status. This gives you an accurate, real-time view of your system that is easier to comprehend than table listed data and identify more easily patterns related to location.

Since the combination of SCADA and geospatial data enables you to monitor the status of your network in real time, operators have an immediate overview of the situation and can quickly correct problems.

Challenge: ensuring water delivery in changing circumstances

The Water Utility Sector is facing technological challenges: Traditional water networks deliver water through production, transmission and distribution systems where SCADA systems actively control the supply and demand process. Situational awareness can improve operations by ensuring a proper integration between SCADA and Spatial Asset Management. Let’s take a look at 3 specific areas where integration assists water companies to be better reactive or proactive in reducing the customer and service disruption.


When a SCADA system generates an alarm, many of them are not too serious. As a monitoring system of the water network with various configurations, the amount of alerting can sometimes be overwhelming. That said, there are alarms that are serious and must be reacted upon. In these situations, using the isolation mechanism in Water Office allows the SCADA operator to close valves remotely. These reactions can reduce Non Revenue Water and Water Quality compromises. The operator can also divert water flows to reduce customer disruptions.

Planned Works

Work Order planning is a trade unto itself. Organizing when work orders are to be executed can assist SCADA operators to adjust operations based on this planning. Reducing pressures and operating valves during actual work order periods mean less stress on assets. Furthermore, these coordinated efforts between various departments within the water utility will facilitate reduced energy consumption and reduce customer disruptions.

Historian Database Integration

Historian databases record a tremendous amount of data regarding the activity in a water network. Visualize retrieved data in association with asset data to show real-time activity and historical trends. So for example, time series data on how often a valve fails or is operated can lead to adjusted maintenance schedules on valves. This facilitates the move to Predictive Analytics, part of the Digital Transformation process.


There are many SCADA vendors in the water industry and some water utilities have multiple installations from various vendors. The geospatial platform of GE Smallworld with Water Office is the basis for the integration because of its secure and robust architecture and its registration capabilities. It is important to recognize that Water Office leverages the GE Smallworld version managed database (VMDS – Version Managed Data Storage). A GE Smallworld VMDS database contains many versions of a modeled world, including the current version, design plans or changes that will become active at some point in the future and historic versions of the model. Thus, maintain multiple versions of the dynamic data – valve status, pressures and flows in one system. Designed for the geospatial market, the GE Smallworld platform easily manages the problem of handling multiple versions over both short and long transaction times and to this day is unparalleled in support of smart water.

To get the most out of your geospatial and SCADA systems, you need to have the right tools. Water Office utilizes a framework designed to be generic in order to minimize the implementation effort required to interface WO with any given SCADA system, by making use of a connector concept:

Figure 1 – WO ↔ SCADA connection

The Mapping Service feature is able to associate the entities (sensors, etc.) from the SCADA system with the WO objects. The Connector object implements the mechanisms to get the information from SCADA for a certain entity at the specified time and make it available in WO.


Overcome the technological challenge by simplifying the integration of SCADA with Spatial Asset Management solutions using standard protocols and mechanisms to facilitate improved business processes in a situational aware perspective. The combination of the Water Office geospatial system with SCADA for both dynamic and static data is one of the first steps towards Digital Transformation. Should you wish to receive more information about SCADA integration with Water Office, its implementation and even extended possibilities, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@wateroffice.com.

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