Bentley invests in digital twins for water infrastructure

Mar 1, 2019 | Hot Topics

So much news …. Amidst a lot of earnings comes this, from Bentley Systems:

Bentley today said that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Digital Water Works, a company that makes digital twin solutions for “smart wet infrastructure” (my quotes), to enable Bentley and Digital Water Works to bring “superior infrastructure digital twin solutions to municipal and investor-owned water and wastewater utilities worldwide — solutions with the power to enhance their operational visibility, improve efficiency, optimize capital spending, and lower total cost of ownership of their wet infrastructure”.

So what’s wet infrastructure? According to civil engineers in the Netherlands (who should know), it’s projects relating to water supply, treatment and storage; water resource management; flood management; hydropower as well as locks, weirs, storm-surge barriers, guiding structures, pumping plants, and related structures.

Digital Water Works says it makes utility-centric solutions that can be used to detect and isolate deficiencies, perform diagnostics and troubleshooting, and so on, that will be integrated with Bentley’s OpenFlows — the digital model from OpenFlows, the operating data and analytics from Digital Water Works.

This all connects via Bentley’s iTwin offerings, which Bentley says it will license directly to Digital Water Works’ customers. I wrote about iTwins here; Digital Water Works said that the joint offer will be rolled out over the next five to ten months, starting in April with an early adopter program for water and wastewater utilities and engineering firms.

Bentley Systems’ CEO Greg Bentley said, “[this] investment in Digital Water Works signifies our recognition that a specialist ‘digital integrator’ entity will play an indispensable role in helping infrastructure owners to take full advantage of digital twins’ potential. We believe that our industry-leading OpenFlows modeling software and iTwin Services offerings can advantageously anchor water and wastewater utilities’ advancements in going digital. But we believe even more strongly that an open approach, supported by an independent integrator leveraging our unprecedented open-source solution environment, can achieve the greatest benefits for each utility, while accelerating the learning curve for all.”

In this spirit of openness, Digital Water Works will continue to work with other software vendors. But this investment does give Bentley the right to appoint two directors to the Digital Water Works board.

And an interesting factoid: Digital Water Works’ COO is Ram Pratti, who you may know from his days at Bentley Systems where he was Vice President of Customer Success. Relationships count, people!