Data and analytics key to water firms’ success over next five years, says expert
9 Sep 2020
Sensors and real time data are key to enable water companies to meet UK pollution targets within the timescale and restrictions set by industry regulators, says a leading sector consultant.
Karyn Georges of innovation and technology consultancy Isle said the transition to real time networks would be key to achieving companies’ goals.
“There is new technology out there that can have a significant impact on water companies’ pollution performance, but it does require them to be bold and brave,” she said.
“Having sensors and real-time tools that allow control rooms to see what is going on in their network before problems occur is a key element of what is a complex solution. That is why it remains the biggest area of innovation and interest.”
Regulator Ofwat is requiring utility companies in England and Wales to reduce surface water pollution by nearly a third before 2025, while the Environment Agency has demanded more effective risk forecasting and mitigation measures
At the same time, Ofwat has insisted on no increases in customer bills in the 2020-2025 investment period. Georges – whose company hosts its Zero Pollutions Conference this week, on 14 September 2020 – said these pressures underlined the need for “cost-effective, data-led solutions, smart analytics and innovative technologies”.
“Meeting the targets won’t be easy for water companies and not being able to increase bills makes it even harder but they have to be inventive in what they do and go for it,” she warned.
“There are definitely some real leaders among UK water companies who are moving forward with these solutions and seeing fantastic results. We now need the whole sector to understand how to effectively implement and work with this technology.”