We talk a lot on this blog about how data analysis can help electric utilities make great new discoveries about, say, their network operations but we don’t often get to talk about how data is serving the water utility industry in the same way.
Today, we can. A press release out a few weeks back announced how Telvent had been selected by Anglian Water Services of the United Kingdom to help improve operational efficiency and minimize water loss. As the release says:
Anglian Water will employ the Telvent Integrated Leakage and Pressure Management System to leverage water network data to more quickly detect leaks and improve response time. Seamless integration with virtually all of Anglian Water's existing corporate systems will allow the utility to compare current network dynamics with historic data, thereby facilitating rapid detection and location of leaks and bursts. Anglian Water will ultimately achieve lower operational costs by reducing water loss, optimizing key processes, ensuring regulatory compliance and enhancing service to its 4.3 million customers.
Water is increasingly viewed as a resource to be in imminent shortage. Droughts, increasing industrial and agricultural usage, and growing populations all threaten water reserves. Using data in real-time to compare the measurements of current flows over sections of lines versus historic flow measurements can give utilities good pictures of where water might be leaking, or where a pipe has ruptured.
In the case of the Telvent deployment for Anglian Water Services Telvent is using SQL Server and SQL Server Reporting Services as part of its architecture, in addition to Silverlight and .NET as development tools.
Using data to detect water leaks along a wide (and mostly underground!) distribution system is yet one more interesting application of data to real world problems. In fact, we often get asked “what is the best practice in leak detection, and as this blog’s headline teases, “it’s like a thumb in a dike”, may be the best practice! – Jon C. Arnold