Building the World’s Largest Water Data Management Company with Strategic M&A

Gaining access to XPV’s industry knowledge has helped Aquatic Informatics grow into new markets and further its mission to provide open and timely water data.

For the water industry, big data represents opportunities to optimize operations, make better, more informed decisions, and realize immediate value. Recognizing this potential, water professionals are deploying and benefiting from data solutions at a rapid pace. For example, utilities are using sensors, analytics, and other innovative water technologies to reveal patterns and trends that help them address and manage potential crises, such as watermain bursts or contamination issues, before they become problems.

While big data can vastly improve operations, the prospect of managing it can be daunting. “When water managers don’t have the systems in place to properly manage data streams in real time, they need solutions that will help them reliably interpret the information and provide critical insights. That’s where we come in,” says Ed Quilty, President and CEO of Aquatic Informatics.

Now working with more than 1,000 organizations that collect, manage, and process large volumes of water data, Aquatic Informatics provides software solutions that address critical water data management, analytics, and compliance challenges.

Case Study: “Once-in-a-generation” water data modernization

Known globally for scientific excellence, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is North America’s largest environmental monitoring agency with more than 16,500 gauging stations nation-wide. The agency monitors, assesses, and conducts research on the wide range of water resources and conditions, including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water availability.

Since 2006, the USGS has relied on Aquatic Informatics’ AQUARIUS Graphical Rating and Shift Application Tool (GRSAT) to correct and edit time series data. When the USGS decided to retire its legacy Automated Data Processing System (ADAPS) system to optimize water data consistency and reliability nationwide, it chose AQUARIUS Time-Series. The USGS is now using the full AQUARIUS Time-Series platform, increasing data consistency, comparability, and reliability across its Water Science Centers.

In 2016, Aquatic Informatics received the prestigious EBJ Business Achievement Award for this “once-in-a-generation” modernization project. “In a highly effective collaboration, we worked closely with our partner in the analysis and design process,” says Quilty. “The USGS tested and approved quarterly releases over three years. AQUARIUS Time-Series is now the most powerful and scalable platform for small to large agencies to efficiently manage and analyze water quantity and quality data for greater insight.”

Making a difference with data

The market for big data solutions in the water sector is significant and growing – and there are virtually thousands of applications. Deloitte’s 2016 Water Tight 2.0 report listed the value of data as one of the top trends in the global water sector, and, according to Bluefield Research, more than $20 billion is slated for metering, data management, and analytics by 2025.

Given the scale of the big data opportunity, Aquatic Informatics has worked closely with XPV Water Partners’ experienced team to identify, validate, and pursue M&A prospects to grow and differentiate the business.

“As an XPV Water Partners portfolio company, we have unmatched access to a wealth of industry knowledge,” says Quilty. “By tapping into the team’s support and experience, Aquatic Informatics is thoughtfully expanding our product offerings to help us pursue our mission.”

Calculated growth and expansion

Working with Aquatic Informatics on its growth plan, XPV Water Partners uses its extensive databases, industry connections, and sector expertise to identify ideal M&A candidates and close deals. The process has proven successful. In under two years, Aquatic Informatics has acquired three companies with innovative water technologies:

  • Tokay Software prevents contaminants, such as sewage, pesticides, and heavy metals, from being introduced into community drinking water systems. Nearly 1,000 utilities across North America rely on Tokay’s software for backflow device inspection and compliance reporting.
  • Through technology-driven data collection, automated data management, and electronic reporting, WaterTrax equips clients with the tools to streamline their regulatory compliance practices and improve data integrity.
  • Linko Technology is the leading supplier of industrial pretreatment, fats, oil and grease, and liquid hauled waste software to municipal agencies across North America.

“The more we know about our water, ecosystems, and infrastructure, the better we can manage these resources. With our data-driven solutions, our customers are solving the problems linked to water-related diseases, at-risk ecosystems, pollution, and natural disasters,” says Quilty.

“Every day, our team is motivated by the urgent need to solve these challenges. That’s what unites our family of brands, and that’s how we’ll continue to build our digital water platform.”

Moving forward with purpose

By working with XPV Water Partners to thoughtfully expand its offering of innovative water technologies and solutions, Aquatic Informatics is building the world’s largest water data management company.

“With support from XPV Water Partners, Aquatic Informatics is moving forward with purpose,” says Quilty. “By adding Tokay, WaterTrax, and Linko solutions to our platform, we’re opening new doors for our customers to manage their systems wisely.”