Sustainability is on the minds of many of us these days—driven by our need as a society to protect our climate and conserve precious resources. Water is our most valuable resource, and on average, utilities lose 16 percent of their water supply annually[1].

Contributing significantly to this water loss is the pumping of water into leaky pipes, an activity that can send millions of gallons to underground lakes that can go undiscovered for months. These leaks also waste a tremendous amount of electricity and money, because electric pumps are used to pump enormous amounts of water through the leaky pipes.

An example of this magnitude of loss: an average-size U.S. water processing system that services 80,000 people[2] loses nearly 5 billion gallons per year, which also results in using 15 million kWh of electricity per year. Generating this amount of power also introduces 11,850 metric tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.

A major culprit in this scenario is that the lift stations pumping the water operate as unconnected silos. To discover the source of leaks, a utility must visit each lift station regularly, pull its logs, and then analyze them for potential anomalies. Reviewing logs that date back some three to six months is not uncommon and, all the while, leaks are going undetected.

To help support companies on their sustainability journey, Rockwell Automation has teamed with Cisco—and its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program—to develop innovative water and wastewater solutions. CDA offers unique insights through its network of partners and cross-architectural innovation that powers sustainable communities in 44 countries.

“The level of collaboration between Rockwell and Cisco through the CDA program is an inspiring example of how we combine technology, services, and partnership to strengthen our sustainability commitment to our customers and the environment,” said Tom O’Reilly, Vice President of Sustainability at Rockwell Automation. “We can deliver an enhanced and differentiated portfolio of sustainable solutions to the market by working together.”

Cisco and Rockwell have joined forces to build a water distribution pressure management solution, thereby improving the operation of water and wastewater systems. This near real-time solution notifies water utilities of anomalies that could be caused by leaks—helping reduce not only water loss but also save energy.

We anticipate that the joint Digital Water Solutions will help reduce water leakage for an average-size U.S. water processing system by 33 percent, saving 1.5 billion gallons of water and 4.9 million kWh of electricity per year. These savings will reduce CO2 emissions by 3882 metric tons and reduce costs US$512,000 per year.

Cisco and Rockwell automation digital water solutions, high-level architecture

Sustainability must be a high priority for all societies. As leaders in networking and industrial automation, respectively, Cisco and Rockwell Automation are developing smart and secure water management solutions that focus on sustainability and the responsible use of this precious resource.

Learn more about the Cisco and Rockwell Digital Water Solutions here. Or visit our booth #935 at the Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago—November 16–17—and learn how Cisco and Rockwell Automation are bringing digital transformation and sustainability to organizations around the globe.


Learn more about the Rockwell and Cisco partnership



[1] EPA Water Audits and Water Loss Control for Public Water Systems

[2] According to the EPA, the average-size U.S. water processing system processes 30 billion gallons and consumes 100 million kWh in energy per year to treat water.


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Robert Hubbard

Manager of Sales Business Development

Ecosystem Partner Sales Organization