Joseph Fennell
Joseph Fennell

Executive Director
Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Population served: 500,000 (daytime pop.)
Budget: $52 million
Favorite technology: Cloud computing

“It’s amazing what we can do in the field nowadays,” says Joseph Fennell. “What can be done in 10 minutes today, used to take three days.”

Fennell is referring to the ability to access stored data via mobile device while at a jobsite or other location, and to collect and immediately store and share new information with co-workers. This time-saver is accomplished with a cloud computing system—a Web-based application or service that hosts data storage and all programs needed to perform a job. The data resides online in the “cloud,” so it can be easily accessed anywhere, anytime, as long as you have an Internet connection.

“With cloud computing, we can store our maintenance management data, mapping coordinates, and updated inspection information so all employees can access and manage information instantly,” he explains. “Maintenance activities and remote pumping and delivery stations are monitored continuously by our SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system, and that data is available, with the right security protocols, to our field personnel in real time.

“We’ll be upgrading our ability to communicate with our maintenance systems this year, and we’re looking forward to additional enhancements such as instant hydraulic modeling and sharing data with our member municipalities down the road,” says Fennell.

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