Spain’s first “smart water network” celebrates first anniversary

In its first year, this “smart network” implemented by Acciona Agua has enabled the early detection – and resolution – of alarms for unusually high consumption of water, leaks and faults. It has improved the quality control of the city’s water and introduced remote meter readings. This “smart network” is part of the European innovation project SmartWater4Europe, which brings together the most prestigious companies in the Water Sector, Universities and Technology Centres to design the water networks of the future.

In its first year of operation, the European innovation project SmartWater4Europe, set up by Acciona Agua in Burgos, has made the city a worldwide pioneer with a “smart water supply network”. To date, more than 10,500 people and around one hundred companies (industries and retailers) have benefited from this pilot program of sensors and data analysis that allows the early detection and repair of faults, improves water quality control and enables remote water meter reading, thereby facilitating the detection of unusual levels of consumption and leaks.

This smart water distribution network monitors 56 kilometres of piping and has enabled the detection of alarms for anomalous consumption levels, leaks or faults, etc. In order do this, 1,500 ‘smart’ meters have been installed, with state-ofthe- art sensors that check the quality of the water at strategic points in the distribution network and issue alerts on any unusual changes. There are also129 concentrators to transmit the signals to the control centre.

A software platform has also been designed and implemented to incorporate the data provided by these devices (remote meter readings by users, a GIS, remotecontrol data, sensors that monitor the water quality …) and analyses them through algorithms and mathematical models that include variables such as forecast demand. The management system is controlled by a “Business Intelligence” system that detects any fault, blockage or leak in real time, as well as the point at which it occurs. This reduces the time needed to locate a fault and repair it, and has an impact on reducing incidents that cause disruption to citizens (cuts in water supply, pressure drops, traffic delays due to the repair of faults…).

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Article published in: FuturENVIRO #35 November 2016