SA Water intends to build out an enterprise-wide data and AI platform and enhance data skills across the organisation under a modernisation program.
The utility presently operates an "on-premises data technology ecosystem comprised of ... predominantly Microsoft technology" including SQL server instances.
It said that a "series of reviews" had uncovered challenges such as data siloes, governance and visibility, as well as with "implementing and leveraging modern data and analytics including AI technologies."
SA Water said it expects to “rationalise and decommission overlapping or redundant data solutions" once the new platform is in place.
Tender documents state that it also wants to “simplify, standardise, and shorten the development cycles for delivering business intelligence and machine learning solutions including ML pipelines, data preparation, automated learning, model drift detection, model registration, and automated deployment practices."
The utility does not specify what the new platform should look like, but said more broadly that its technology corporate strategy calls for greater cloud service use.
This could include a potential expansion of an Azure tenancy, which is presently used only for internet of things (IoT) data storage.
One of SA Water’s recent projects uses IoT sensors to diagnose faults in its critical pumping facilities; it scored SA Water a place in iTnews' 2023 Benchmark Awards industrial category.
The water supplier’s investments in automation in recent years also include its renewable energy optimisation system, which sells self-generated solar power that SA Water does not use, and the deployment of acoustic sensors for detecting water leaks and breaks in its pipe network.