Rapid water network information a necessity

Sep 12, 2022

When managing water networks, rapid information is not a luxury, it is now a necessity that translates into crises avertedand money saved, says Kevin Brook, director, Orbis Intelligent Systems

Data-driven real-time monitoring is enabling the water sector’s smart transformation, by giving companies the tools to proactively manage their assets. Advanced smart devices capture data and transmit critical alerts to a utility within seconds and by linking devices with a cloud-based portal, utilities can monitor their assets with precision 24-hours-day –something has only become possible with the latest innovations.

By being informed in real time of flow, volume, and consumption, as well as consumer water usage, network efficiency and pipeline condition, control rooms can mitigate challenges before they impact customers. Smart systems are also helping utilities track down companies that illegally take water from the network, protecting the supply against those who use water without being billed for supply.

Taking such measures can be critical -water theft from the network can cause problems at any time but during hotdryspells, such as those seen this summer when demand was up by 70% in some regions, it can have a serious impact on customer supply.Orbis technology has found over 550 illegal abstractions in the UK in the last 12 months, through use of digital remote data. Digital information has helped increase the amount of water accounted from hydrants by 15% in the last six months, simply by replacing analogue with digital information.

Water utilities have invested hundreds of millions in systems, devices and services that deliver many categories of actionable data. They are now investing in the systems, services and devices that measure the ‘gap within the gap’ –those numbers that were reported as assumptions because historically, they were too small to matter. That has changed –now they do matter.


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