11 Sep 2020
RPS is delighted to be the recipient of two awards from the first virtual Water Consumption Data Hack 2020 hosted by Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, and Welsh Water. The awards are in recognition of our entry ‘Water Balance Calculation – The Future’. We were overall winner of the Water Consumption Data Hack 2020 as well as winners of the Tent 1 Challenge, “Improving how we calculate district metered area (DMA) water balance”.
Daniel Woodworth, Sutton and East Surrey Water commented, “The RPS approach was easy to understand, yet has the potential to change the way leakage is calculated in future.”
Across England and Wales, just under 3 billion litres (660 million gallons) of water is lost to leaks every day - equivalent to 1,180 Olympic swimming pools1. As a valuable commodity, that’s a lot of water to lose each year. So, in the spirit of collaboration and innovation, as well as with a strong desire to enhance understanding of water consumption customer behaviour, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, and Welsh Water joined forces to hold this years ‘data hack’ - hosted virtually for the first time.
150 participants from water companies, consultants, SMEs, and academics from around the world took part. Through a number of structured events over the two-week period, the 20 teams worked with real-world data comprising over 400 million lines of smart meter records to generate new, innovative and collaborative ways of working.
Our winning entry
RPS’ winning entry was titled ‘Water Balance Calculation – the Future’. Our winning team of 8 industry experts and analysts took property, district metering, and customer smart meter data supplied at the hackathon, and combined it with daily weather data. Looking at new and innovative ways to use our bespoke Waternet® software, we were able to import this data and quickly review the technologies and data available, including localised smart metered data and appropriate property classifications. We subsequently developed methodologies to calculate daily consumption for unmetered properties, and to predict future consumption and leakage profiles accounting for changes in weather.
Benefits of our approach
During the hackathon, RPS demonstrated that a property nightline calculation could be carried out for each area on a daily basis using near real-time data. In addition, by using the weather data, we were able to provide a better estimate of the water use at unmeasured properties - this is something that has never been done before, yet has huge benefits both environmentally and commercially. As a result, water companies have increased confidence that a rise in the night flow was due to a leak rather than consumption, and were able to respond more quickly and efficiently than in the past and reducing false targeting.
The enhanced data and improved predictive capabilities also have the potential to provide early warning and planning opportunities in response to weather forecasts, while also accounting for historic nightline trends.
The use of Waternet® to retrieve and process data from a range of sources means that water companies have rapid access and ease of visualisation of new leakage events and consumption hotspots.
Steve Hogg, Water Consultancy Director, RPS commented, “Congratulations to the RPS team involved in winning this event, and thanks to AWS, DCWW and SES for seeking out new approaches to these key issues in such a creative and innovative format.
The ideas our team created and demonstrated through our Waternet® tool showcased our ability to take a problem apart, analyse large volumes of data quickly, and develop innovative solutions in a confidently pragmatic way. Whether its addressing key industry drivers of leakage, pollution, or flooding, it’s great to get the opportunity to take part in these events and help the water industry look at problems in a different way and to drive the efficiencies we need to make AMP7 a success for our clients and their customers.”
The full RPS team comprised: Hossein Rezaei, Jack Wenbourne, Andrew Pearson, Mike Butler, David Watts, Yuk Lee, Mike Hurley, Martyn Tupper, Joe Sanders.
To read more on the technical detail of the new calculation, please click here: https://www.rpsgroup.com/insights/the-future-of-water-balance-calculation/
For more information on Waternet® and how we’re helping Water Companies tackle the challenges of AMP7 using innovation, please click here: https://www.rpsgroup.com/sectors/water/uk-and-ireland-regulated-water-asset-management/
Dr Hossein Rezaei
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