2016 Wagner Prize Finalist - IBM

IBM Cognitive Technology Helps Aqualia Reduce Costs and Save Resources in Wastewater Treatment

This work takes a deep dive into operational management optimization problems in wastewater treatment plants. We used a constrained Markov Decision Process as the key optimization framework. Our technology was tested in a one-year pilot at a plant in Lleida, Spain, operated by Aqualia, the world's 3rd-largest water company. The results showed a dramatic 13.5 percent general reduction in the plant’s electricity consumption, a 14 percent reduction in the amount of chemicals needed to remove phosphorus from the water, and a 17 percent reduction in sludge production.