How Utilities Organize for Digital Innovation

2 May 2023
Complimentary analysis


This SWAN Americas Alliance report, was created in partnership with the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC), with support from EPIC and Bluefield Research. The full report is available to SWAN members here.

While data-driven technologies remain a critical part of the smart water movement across drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities, the successful uptake of innovative tools remains largely dependent on people and organizations. This ranges from utility management and staff buy-in at the onset of a project, to the extent to which operators are comfortable with the implemented changes following technology roll-out. This report helps to uncover utility best practices, advice for preventing unexpected outcomes, and practical insights that may shape future smart water implementation.

So how do utilities organize themselves to effectively embrace digital innovation? How do utilities address data sharing roadblocks both internally and externally? Is there an optimal organizational structure for utilities to consider when embarking on their smart water journeys? Are utilities fostering a positive environment to promote innovation within their teams to ensure continuity? What can we learn from other utilities on how their institutions position themselves for smart water success?