• Companhia Águas de Joinville (CAJ)

    Contingency Plan to Ensure Supply in the Event of Drought (Joinville-Santa Catarina)

    Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Project Summary

    • WATER, WASTEWATER AND STORMWATER NETWORKS -  Companhia Águas de Joinville (CAJ)

A Worsening Water Crisis

Located in South Brazil in the state of Santa Catarina, the city of Joinville faces severe seasonal drought that has continually worsened over the years, resulting in the worst water crisis in 30 years. Companhia Águas de Joinville (CAJ) is the water company that supplies water and sanitation services to the municipality via their water distribution system. The system is divided into two springs, Cubatão and Piraí, the latter of which is strongly affected during drought seasons. To keep clean water flowing in the state’s largest city and maintain quality of life for approximately 600,000 residents, CAJ initiated a project to develop a contingency plan that would reduce water production on the fragile source while ensuring an equally reliable water supply to both areas during drought periods.

Determining an Effective Contingency Plan

CAJ conducted a preliminary study, evaluating three potential alternatives. They determined that the most cost-effective solution at BRL 4.5 million was to implement a 1.7-kilometer interconnecting pipeline to inject water from the Cubatão production system into the Piraí system during the dry season. However, after further analysis, they realized that their proposed solution yielded insufficient flow transfer, water shortages at the weakest points in the Cubatão  supply system, and a reduction in water transport efficiency. To overcome these inefficiencies and develop an effective contingency plan, CAJ needed to implement a more comprehensive study of the municipality’s entire water network.

Digital Twin Provides Optimal Solution

CAJ used Bentley’s OpenFlows WaterGEMS to create a digital twin of the municipality’s mains and macro-distribution systems, modeling 285 kilometers of network. The digital twin and hydraulic simulations supported the flow and pressure data that was observed in the field, validating model accuracy and reliability. Using the calibrated digital twin, CAJ was able to evaluate various operating stress scenarios and better understand the systems’ behaviors. Having a balanced model, they identified opportunities for operational improvements in both the northern and southern zones. They designed a new contingency plan that used the existing distribution network to redistribute the water between Cubatão and Piraí, guaranteeing water supply during severe drought and improving overall water supply to the entire city.

Digitalization Drives Sustainable Water Supply

Using Bentley’s hydraulic modeling technology, CAJ identified problems with their initial contingency plan, saving BRL 4.5 million and resulting in a net zero cost for their new solution. They resolved the problem of the Cubatão system’s weak points, reducing water shortage complaints by 90% on the critical sector. Based on the digital twin, they optimized water flow to the Piraí system, reducing water production needs by 170 liters per second during severe drought and pumping costs by BRL 360,000 annually. Their successful contingency plan saves 574 megawatts of power per year, lowering their annual carbon footprint by 169 tons. Accurately modeling their water infrastructure with Bentley’s digital application, CAJ can now ensure sustainable water supply to Joinville, improving the environment and quality of life for the city’s residents.

Project Playbook: OpenFlows WaterGEMS
  • CAJ is responsible for supplying water to 600,000 residents in the city of Joinville, facing seasonal drought conditions.
  • Using OpenFlows WaterGEMS to create a digital twin of their macro water distribution system, CAJ saved BRL 4.5 million developing a new solution to ensure consistent, reliable water supply.
  • The project exemplifies how technology drives optimal decision-making, revolutionizing the water industry.
  • “The WaterGEMS software allowed us to do more with less, seek solutions within the city's existing hydraulic structure, identify opportunities for operational improvements and achieve the expected results with significant savings."

    Lucas Emanuel Martins Engineer Companhia Águas de Joinville