Smart Water Networks

We’re working with the water utilities to help tackle the increasing challenge of water scarcity. How? With smart water metering.


What are smart water networks?

Rainfall, driven by climate change, is becoming less reliable, making it harder to manage water as a resource. At the same time, demand is forecast to grow by 800 million litres per day by 2020. Yet, utilities have very little visibility of the actual level of water consumption for each home. It is also estimated that up to 25% of water is “lost” through leakage as it travels through pipes and into properties.

Smart water metering provides a much clearer view of the water consumption in individual households and how this varies over time. It can help identify where leaks might be occurring, for example if there is a continuous flow of water to a particular property, so that these can be fixed quickly. This will help save water and minimise damage to people’s homes.

How do Smart Water Networks work?

Smart water metering is about increasing efficiencies whilst minimising wastage. In a real world scenario, the following would occur:

  • A leak arises within the water grid
  • Algorithms detect the leak, measure and locate it
  • A job is raised with the utility company, prioritised and scheduled
  • Automated street works approval from the council / governing body
  • Utility company repair team arrive with the correct plans and kit
  • Leak repaired
  • Algorithms confirm everything is back to normal

Rolling out Smart Water Metering Networks

We are rolling out a smart water network for Thames Water, the first company to roll out smart water meters using state-of-the-art wireless technology, to around 3.6 million households and businesses in London and the Thames Valley, using our secure, reliable and resilient FlexNet technology. Having successfully completed an initial three-year trial, we are continuing the smart water network roll-out to key Thames regions and Thames Water is already seeing results. Through timely meter data, around 4,200 leaks have been identified so far and the programme is already saving on average 930,000 litres of water per day. To put this into perspective, this is the equivalent of almost 10,000 baths. We are also trialling a smart water network for Anglian water as part of their long-term strategy to tackle water scarcity and provide greater customer service.

Successful identification of potential leaks critically depends on the ability to connect to water meters and to reliably provide data over time. However, water meters are often located in places that some communications technologies find hard to reach, including underground pits beneath cast iron lids. It’s essential to choose a technology that connects meters wherever they are, then works all the time. We have proven that our network technology works.

Smart Water Network Benefits

Our FlexNet water network is bespoke, built to specific customer requirements and service levels. If extended to cover meters and monitoring equipment across the network, then reliable, real-time communications can support a number of services including; improved network management, leak detection, reduced costs and improved customer service. This will help utilities to work with customers to minimise water wastage and consumption, cut operational costs through more precise targeting of maintenance crew to ultimately reduce their TOTEX and environmental footprint.

See more on our work in Smart Metering