Posts tagged ‘water network monitoring’

Your Data Can Stop Leaks

This is the fourth post in the “CTO Smart Water Insights” by Haggai Scolnicov, TaKaDu’s CTO.

I went to Water Loss 2012 in Manila to tell water utilities one simple thing: data already collected under accepted “best practices” is all they need for a dramatic improvement to water loss control. Of course, that’s part of what you get when you deploy TaKaDu, but I wanted to focus on something else.

There are various tools and methodologies out there to use network monitoring data, and they are far from having been created equal. Whilst the data from sensors and other sources does hold the key to water loss control, and the principles as sketched on a conference slide are simple enough, real-world conditions make data analysis the trickiest link in the active leakage control chain. Three murky clouds – typically glossed over in water loss presentations – help to muddy the waters:

–          Data quality (the meter values could be wrong)

–          Other network events (the event you found may not be a leak)

–          Complex utility process (you think there may be a small leak somewhere – what to do now?)

In this presentation (and the more detailed paper), I revisited the “traditional” Active Leakage Control process, highlighting the role of data analysis (manual and automated), revolving around leakage analyst’s work on the 3 “S”es of data analysis Supermen: Sifting, Statistical estimation, and Special knowledge. By boosting this difficult stage, utilities report they achieved significant quantifiable savings throughout the ALC process.

To do this, I listed some guidelines for coping with the 3 big uncertainties of data, network events, and the utility process, starting with detailed knowledge and understanding of these factors, to be addressed by suitable processing. As with many data analytic challenges, these real-world data “technicalities” are, in fact, the main challenge for data-driven ALC.

If you’re a pessimist, my slides are mostly a long list of impediments to active leakage control. If you’re an optimist, they are a collection of opportunities to do it better. If you work at TaKaDu, these slides are just what we have been doing for the past few years, what we’re good at doing, and what we need to keep doing. Have a look also at some of the other great talks and papers from the conference, too.

January 7, 2013 at 8:20 am Leave a comment

Software-as-a-Service: A Novelty for Water Utilities

Many proponents of SaaS argue that it is a powerful paradigm for data analytics and for enterprises, especially those with complex processes and large data sets, such as utilities. This is true in theory, but we wanted to test this in practice. Most utilities are not past users of any cloud based services or of software provided under a SaaS business model. In fact, when selling the TaKaDu solution, we encounter utilities who have never considered using a SaaS product before. Spain’s Udal Sareak from Bilbao is one of them.

We recently had a brief phone interview with Mr. Koldo Urkullu, General Manager of Udal Sareak, the Bilbao Water Consortium responsible for managing the water distribution network of 60 municipalities and localities in the Bilbao area.

Continue Reading November 13, 2012 at 11:29 am Leave a comment


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