Water supply is one of the most critical network industries, given its direct link with basic human needs. Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation is one of the goals (the number 6) in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Achieving this goal does not come without challenges, as there are certain contextual factors (such as climate change, pollution and ageing infrastructures) that increasingly compromise the availability, quality and accessibility of water for human consumption. The need to obtain more precise and timely information to tackle these challenges has driven water utilities to incorporate information communication technologies (ICT) into water supply management. This contribution outlines key aspects of the growing digitalisation of the drinking water sector and discusses how smart water technologies are changing the management of the infrastructures therein involved. Furthermore, it explores the challenges and the roles of regulation and policy in this transformation.
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