Maintaining sufficient quantities of drinking water on board an underway vessel is a critical safety element for the crew members and general operation of the vessel.
While sea water may be satisfactory for cleaning decks and flushing toilets, fresh water must be maintained for human consumption and power generation. Crew members face multiple challenges in optimising potable water quantity planning, including trip variables such as voyage length, speed, weather conditions, consumption rates, passenger volumes and fuel costs. When optimised, the savings can be substantial for ship operators. As an example, the weight and space created by eliminating excess water tanks can be used to store extra fuel or cargo, leading to significant savings per year.
By analysing fleet onboard data sources such as ship type (e.g. bulk carrier, container ship), the expected number of crew and passengers, voyage length, anticipated speed and weather conditions combined with the onboard systems capability to generate potable water a prediction can be made for the volume of potable water required for the voyage.
During the voyage, live onboard sensor data tracks actual water consumption, temperature patterns, and travel speed to adjust bunkering and docking locations as needed. When deviations occur, crew members receive early warning alerts and are rerouted to nearby distilling sites, ensuring the safety of all crew and passengers aboard. The machine learning algorithms continue to adapt and gain accuracy with each voyage.