Increasing the efficiency of water supply networks is essential in arid and semi-arid regions to ensure the supply of drinking water to the inhabitants. The cost of renovating these systems is high. However, customized management models can facilitate the maintenance and rehabilitation of hydraulic infrastructures by optimizing the use of resources. The implementation of current Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring systems allows decisions to be based on objective data. In water supply systems, IoT helps to monitor the key elements to improve system efficiency. To implement IoT in a water distribution system requires sensors that are suitable for measuring the main hydraulic variables, a communication system that is adaptable to the water service companies and a friendly system for data analysis and visualization. A smart pressure monitoring and alert system was developed using low-cost hardware and open-source software. An Arduino family microcontroller transfers pressure gauge signals using Sigfox communication, a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN). The IoT ThingSpeak platform is used for data analysis and visualization. Additionally, the system can send alarms via SMS/email in real time using the If This, Then That (IFTTT) web service when anomalous pressure data are detected. The pressure monitoring system was successfully implemented in a real water distribution network in Spain. It was able to detect both breakdowns and leaks in real time.
Keywords: Arduino microcontroller; ThingSpeak; digitalization; information and communication technologies (ICT); low power wide area network (LPWAN); web service.