Smart Districts - A path to reduced water loss and improved business

What is the value of meter data in terms of intelligent leakage localisation? And what happens when you base the fight against water loss on data?
Published: Tue 04 Sep 2018
A blog entry by Kamilla Wied

Contributed by:

Kamilla Wied
Campaign Manager

Kamilla Wied's Blog

What is the value of meter data in hourly intervals in terms of intelligent leakage localisation? And what happens when you base the fight against water loss on data? Find the answers in the Smart District.

Transitioning from district to Smart District

By implementing Smart Districts, water utilities can dramatically accelerate their efforts using data to fight water loss and become more energy efficient. Combining smart metering technology, remote reading and brand-new analytical tools is the underlying secret.

The big picture and the minor details

In a Smart District, high frequency meter data and data analysis can be used to calculate water balances on an hourly basis for a more proactive approach to reducing Non-Revenue Water. With new knowledge in hand – and on screen – it is possible to identify trends such as increasing water loss at an earlier stage, quickly see the effect of new initiatives and easily compare the loss in different districts.

In practice, data from district meters on the supply branch is compared to data from household water meters far more often and more precisely than previously. This provides a unique overview of the overall water-loss development in the supply area and insight into how the water loss is distributed across the different DMAs.

Categorising water loss

Armed with this new knowledge, an experienced utility manager can categorise the water loss by looking at other parameters. If the water loss increases concurrent with the general consumption, it is often due to unauthorised unmetered consumption, e.g. theft, a lack of meters at construction sites, or the fact that the district supplies more consumers than expected. Conversely, if there is no correlation between loss and consumption, the problem is usually due to leaks on distribution mains or service connections.

This knowledge can be used to prioritise and target efforts where they create the most value. Rather than launch a comprehensive leakage localisation process, the water utility can look for installations without meters or focus on an individual district with a sudden spike in the water loss.

Make your efforts count

Meter data can help you determine what actions and investments will generate the most value and be most efficient in the fight against water loss. Getting a continuous overview of the water loss in each district is essential – as is being able to quickly evaluate the implemented measures.

Categorising the water loss makes it possible to implement the right measures for each DMA and avoid wasting resources on solutions that do not have the desired effect.