In addition to energy savings, IoT applications can help in water savings of up to 230 billion cubic meters of water, mostly in agriculture sector, by the year 2030. This is based on a recent report on “Sustainability in new and emerging technologies”. [1]

IoTs’ contribution in saving water and managing water scarcity will be enormous, in addition to their contribution in real-time maintenance. The world’s largest dams may have a water storage capacity of 100 billion cubic meters or more, such as the the Daniel-Johnson dam in Quebec. The reservoir surface area of the dam covers nearly 2000 km2 and it is ranked the fourth biggest in the world. The dam has 200 connected IoT devices for its inspection and maintenance on real-time. [2]

“A 360° video experience — The Daniel-Johnson dam, as if you were there!” — For optimal viewing, watch the video on your smart phone or tablet with the YouTube app or use a cardboard viewer or a virtual reality headset. Source: Hydro-Québec

Although water is a renewable resource, its supply is not inexhaustible. It is unlikely that sufficient new water resources will be found to meet the projected increase in demand for water for food production, as existing water resources are already under pressure. It is vital, therefore, that existing resources be managed efficiently. This is particularly true with regard to agriculture, which utilizes more than two-thirds of the global water used by humans. [3]

Blue and green water — Biodiversity consumptive water use. (Source: Global Water News, №2, August 2005,

Available fresh water consists predominantly of precipitation that falls on land surfaces. It is then returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration or enters the sea, lakes and soil via drainage. Water absorbed from soil moisture by plants and returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration is termed ‘green water’ and is the main source of support for land-based biodiversity, including forests, grasslands and agriculture. [3]

Run-off water that enters rivers and tributaries and recharges lakes, dams and aquifers is termed ‘blue water’. It also flows back to the atmosphere through evaporation, interception and transpiration by plants. Blue water is the primary source for use in irrigation, industry and homes and for waste disposal. [3]

Green water flows account for 65% of global precipitation, while blue water flows account for the remainder. About 10% of total blue water flows are withdrawn for irrigated agriculture. [3]

In terms of the total amount of world’s freshwater, of which most of it — about about 10 million cubic kilometers*— is contained in underground aquifers. The rest comes from:

In terms of water requirements to meet food demand by the 2050 between 10–13.5 trillion cubic metres of water will be required per year, which is about the triple of the current amount used annually by humans. [5]

* 1 Cubic kilometers = 1000000000 Cubic meters


[1] Sustainability in new and emerging technologies. Transformation Insights. —

[2] Top 21 Dams In the World That Generate the Highest Amount of Electricity —

Top 10 biggest dams /

[3] Bari A. (2005) Assessment of plant genetic resources for water-use efficiency (WUE): managing water scarcity. Biodiversity International, Rome, Italy.

[4] How Water Works —

[5] How much water is needed to produce food and how much do we waste? The Guardian (2016) —

OperAI develops IoTs with Math and AI Embedded Solutions to speed up and streamline operational processes at the edges of the cloud.