In this paper we assess how digitalization can affect the role and operations
of municipal water and wastewater utilities. We discuss ways through which the industry could be digitalized, focusing on the effects of digitalization on water and wastewater networks in particular. We assess the impacts of digitalization on stakeholder relations and analyze a case utility’s business model as exemplary for the Finnish water and wastewater industry. The fact that water and wastewater utilities are natural monopolies affects their development strongly—they are the only actors with sufficient power to implement digitalization. Therefore, the drive for change needs to come from the utilities themselves. The strongest motivation for adopting new digital technologies lies in cost savings due to optimization of various asset management practices and advanced network control. Also, new revenue streams could emerge from new services offered by the utilities. We introduce seven business model innovations that digitalization could make possible.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBit Bang 8
Subtitle of host publicationDigitalization
EditorsYrjö Neuvo, Erkki Ormala, Meri Kuikka
PublisherAalto University’s Multidisciplinary Institute of Digitalisation and Energy (MIDE)
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-1101-1
ISBN (Print)978-952-60-1100-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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