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IBM Sets Its Big Green Sights on S.F. Bay Water Quality

Big Blue is teaming up with San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission to put its IT chops to work in monitoring and reducing pollution in the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

The partnership will apply IBM's Maximo Asset Management system to creating a new and more efficient way to manage the city's 1,000 miles of sewer system. The city treats around 90 million gallons of wastewater per day during the dry season, and as much as 370 million gallons of wastewater and storm runoff during the rainier winters.

IBM has already begun working with SFPUC on its maintenance program, and the company reported today that in the past year Maximo has helped San Francisco improve how much of its repair work is preventative rather than corrective by about 11 percent.

This is just the latest example of Big Blue's efforts in the world of water in recent months. As part of its Big Green Innovations initiative and its Smarter Planet project, IBM has worked on projects as diverse as a partnership with the Nature Conservancy on its Great Rivers project and a new consulting service to help companies develop smart water management programs.

And of course today was a big day for IBM announcements; in addition to the SFPUC partnership, IBM also unveiled plans to expand its lithium-ion battery production and Green Sigma service, as well as a new highly efficient, water-cooled supercomputer in Switzerland.

It's all leading up to IBM's Green Summit, happening this evening in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. I'm sure I'll have lots more to share later tonight or tomorrow.

[As an aside, it is worth noting that the Public Utilities Commission not-so-narrowly avoided having one of its treatment plants named in "honor" of outgoing president George W. Bush last November.]

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