Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Aguirre P., Bravo M., Torres M., Langarica S., Oyarzun M., Nunez F. (2023)

Early-Warning System for Supervision of Urban Water Services: Case Study of Coquimbo, Chile

Volumen : 149
Número : 10
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The combination of rapid urbanization, population growth, and the hydric stress due to climate change effects demand innovative, optimized approaches to the operation and supervision of urban water services. In Chile, the Superintendency of Sanitary Services has underscored the need for automatized data integration and analysis tools that foster an evidence-based, preventive approach to the supervision of urban water systems. This motivates the development of a pilot supervision and early-warning system, conceived as a cybernetic entity whose objective is to enable efficient access, analysis, and predictive modeling of the data provided by water service companies, so as to identify risks and inefficiencies in water services, monitor their evolution, and anticipate possible failures. This article discusses the development and implementation of a prototype system that provides tools for visualization, statistical and temporal analysis of georeferenced data on water pressures, network disruptions, and client complaints and deploys machine learning capabilities for predicting the quality of service indicators at different locations. The initial implementation in one region of Chile has been shown to expedite the exploitation of data on urban water services, reduce time lags in the detection of service disruptions, and generate evidence for the planning and execution of supervision activities. Based on this successful pilot, a roadmap for geographical and technological expansion is formulated, including other technological, organizational, and regulatory gaps that must be addressed to establish a data-driven framework for the supervision of urban water services.