Do you know your non-revenue water loss right now?

Non-revenue water (NRW) loss is a familiar problem for water utilities, and determining the location, type, and severity continues to be a challenge. Does your NRW problem lie in the meter data management system (apparent losses) or is it due to pipe breaks and background leakage (real losses)? Are you able to quantify your apparent losses and real losses by individual pressure zones or district metered areas (DMAs)?

For many utilities, finding the answers to these questions can be a complex mishmash of operational, maintenance, and engineering data. However, operational visibility doesn’t have to be a tedious, resource-intensive effort.

That’s the purpose of a cognitive water infrastructure Digital Twin. Within this single intelligent platform, a utility has visibility into engineering, operational, and financial data. The Digital Twin provides actionable insights for decisions that are visible across the enterprise.

Water balance diagram in AWWA format by month and pressure zone.

Non-revenue water costs (apparent and real losses) per pressure zone.

Digital Twins integrate current and historic data, so you can see when an issue began and how it is evolving. With a simple click of a button, you can compare NRW across multiple zones. Minimum night flow (MNF) charts let you see zones with high background leakage requiring a more detailed field investigation. Charting includes machine learning to identify patterns and automatically detect flow anomalies so that you can detect pipe breaks in near real time. A Digital Twin also incorporates intelligent event detection and alert notification for events that might otherwise be difficult to detect using traditional SCADA alarms.

Pipe break anomaly detection, volume quantification, and alert notification.

Example of custom water audit dashboard.

Once you’ve determined the type, location, and severity of apparent and real losses by pressure zone or DMA, you can then prioritize the required remedial efforts to reduce the particular type of losses to the maximum extent possible, effectively generating a new recurring revenue stream.

With a cognitive Digital Twin, you can also align operational decision-making with budget allocation utilizing custom dashboard creation, synchronize pipe renewal and repair (R&R) efforts to align with monthly NRW audits findings, and investigate many solutions quickly and safely without putting infrastructure, personnel, or public health at risk.

Perhaps the best news is that because the sensors and systems are already available, Digital Twins can be deployed in just a few weeks. Don’t let non-revenue water loss impede your 2021 operational excellence. Evaluate the role of a cognitive Digital Twin.