UK's largest smart water network pilot could revolutionise service in Yorkshire



Yorkshire Water is starting the largest and most extensive smart water network pilot in the UK, collaborating with 15 companies in the digital water space to further improve the essential water supply service it provides to customers.

The ambitious multi-stakeholder collaboration combines data from its acoustic, flow, pressure and water quality monitors and aims to reduce leakage and burst levels in the pilot area in West Sheffield.

Fifteen companies in total will be involved on the collaboration, including: Stantec, BT, Xylem, Itron, ATi, Inflowmatix, HWM, Gutermann, Technolog, Servelec/Primayer, Connexin, Arqiva, MUS and Syrinix.

The scope of the industry-wide collaboration is to test the latest cutting-edge digital water meters, sensors, advanced analytics and telecommunications channels.

Yorkshire Water is hoping that the pilot, which will use data received at near real time from across its network, will revolutionise the way it manages leaks and interruptions to supply in the future and therefore reduce the amount of water taken from the environment.

Yorkshire Water Innovation Programme Manager, Sam Bright said:

“Technology has progressed so much over the past few years that we are now able to combine more data streams than ever before and push the boundaries of what is possible using artificial intelligence. It really is an exciting time to be at the forefront of translating these advances into real value for our customers.”

The smart water network pilot will integrate the rich data from multiple new and existing sources and present it in a single visualisation platform. This will provide a virtual model of the physical assets across the network referred to as a digital twin. Through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, clustering data sets and removing false positives, this will inform asset and operational decision making.

Analysts in Yorkshire Water will be able to prioritise repairs instantly, enabling leaks to be repaired quicker and reducing water lost.

The digital twin will have live hydraulic modelling capability integrated to sensor data in the field which will be used in real-time to assess the impact of an incident or network anomaly and to provide an informed operational decision support tool.

Damian Crawford, Head of Smart Networks and Leakage at Stantec said:

“We are very excited about partnering with Yorkshire Water in delivering this innovative pilot and developing the five layers of smart architecture all the way from designing the physical asset layer through to developing data analytics to support the desired business outcomes.”

The 12-month pilot and the outputs will be used as part of the wider Yorkshire Water’s digital strategy to determine future dynamic control and system optimisation capabilities.