The Solution

The Intelligent Urban Water Management System (UrbanWater) project will develop, demonstrate and build an innovative ICT-based platform for efficient and integrated management of urban water resources, together with an exploitation strategy for it.

The UrbanWater platform will incorporate weather prediction and surface water reserves (e.g. resevoirs) data, household consumption data, and include water distribution data, including on pressure and leakages, and additional information and statistics coming from other sources. The platform will incorporate advanced metering solutions, real-time consumption data and new data management technologies with real-time demand forecasting capability, consumption analysis, decision support systems, adaptive pricing and user empowerment solutions. The platform will remain open so as to ensure interoperability with energy and water management schemes and further enhance collaboration between key partners from outside of the consortium.

The UrbanWater platform integrates robust technologies already operative in the European energy sector or in other sectors together with innovative developments

In brief, the project will integrate highquality and already proven solutions for data management and billing systems, with innovative models for forecasting water supply availability, predicting customers’ demand and detecting leakages. It will develop spatial tools based on strong know-how from previous developments in the field of supporting distributors and authorities in decision-making. Furthermore, the project will develop innovative solutions to empower customers and efficiently integrate them in the UrbanWater platform.

 

 

Modules

Data management cloud platform

With the widespread adoption of smart meters, we are currently seeing the generation of Peta-byte scale databases in the water Industry. The major problem we are currently experiencing is how to infer knowledge for vast amounts of sensitive data. Red Skies are currently developing an online Cloud Platform for the Water industry to address such problems. The Cloud Platform is able to manage these Tera to Peta-byte scale commercially sensitive data-sets being generated and provide users a secure Open Data end point for accessing and querying these vast data-sets.

Multi-meter gateway

For UrbanWater project, Sagemcom will be in charge of analyzing water smart technologies and other in-situ sensor solutions. Furthermore Sagemcom will design and develop an innovative smart meter multi-technology gateway which will ease the integration of the proposed solution in multi-utility sectors. The gateway will connect the metering devices with the core server of the solution through a single point of concentration. The purpose is to accept multiple wireless technologies simultaneously and reduce the number of repeaters. This smart meter gateway will use new RF (Radio-Frequency) raising technologies at 169MHz or 868MHz frequencies.

Special attention will be paid to studying Water Metering specific topology, in high density urban configurations. The main purpose is to specify, prototype and tune the protocol stack that will enable the collection of data in most topologies and densities. Developing a single gateway will reduce Capex (Capital Expenditure) and Opex (Operating Expenditure) during the exploitation of the solution and is a key to develop smart metering networks.

Smart Metering Infraestructure

Smart Metering Infraestructure

 

Water demand prediction system

The inputs for initial water demand prediction system tuning are recorded water flows at a certain place in the water distribution system, historical weather data and available and relevant other data, e.g. important events, holidays data etc. On-line the prediction system receives weather and time data, provides prediction of water demand, and uses recorded actual demand to perform model tuning and adaptation.  The model will be used for water resources management in the spatial decision support system and as an input for adaptive pricing.

Detailed indoor consumption system

Detailed indoor consumption model presents a mapping between water flow profile recorded on a smart meter and the household appliances/fixtures that immediately caused that profile. Initial model is obtained off-line using past water flow data. On-line tuning procedures will be also derived in order for the model to be able to adapt to the household in which it is implemented. The data from the model will be used for serious gaming in order to provide precise information for better user empowerment.

Water availability prediction system

This module will calculate the water contribution of future rainfalls to the reservoir’s basin. It will produce rainfall forecasts that, combined with hydrological models, will generate an approach of how will vary the capacity of the reservoir with this water contributions in the next days.

Spatial Decision Support system

The aim of this module is to combine all the present and future information to provide some decisions the operator could take. It will help to improve the water distribution network management giving additional help to the operators, and learning how they operate to improve the proposed decisions.

Leakages Detection system

The main goal of the LDS is to identify outflows in the water distribution network and alert the water utilities. It will consist of 4 main components: a mass balance tool, a night flow analyzer, a hydraulic model builder and exploration tool and an alert system.

Mass Balance Tool – will perform system balances at different levels (global, DMA, subzone) and time-steps (Dt), depending on measurement points and AMR availability. It will seek leakage level evaluation and leakage detection;

Night flow analyzer – will perform Minimum Night Flow (MNF) analysis; it will seek leakage level evaluation and leakage detection and complement the MBT for leakage level estimation;

Hydraulic model builder – This module will set up boundary conditions for EPANET hydraulic model, will perform the demand pattern node aggregation and the model verification by comparing measured data with model results.

Customers’ web based platform & Serious Game

For UrbanWater project, SGI will be in charge of carrying out serious games research, development, deployment, and evaluation. This serious games solution is the main tool to enable the water consumer to understand basic water systems in private environments and will use game mechanics to inform and educate about efficient water consumption to ultimately change user behaviour.  The game will also incorporate water consumption data and other data sources to inform the game play and to connect the game experience to the real world. The game will be developed using the Unity3D game engine. Development of the serious games solution will be a collaborative process with other stakeholders, external companies, and universities with workshops organized by SGI. Additionally, SGI will provide case studies of good practice and proof of concept of deployment of serious games within teaching, training, and learning.

The purpose of the customers web based platform is to enable the customers to: Monitor their real-time consumption, View water consumption forecasts, View balance and pricing and Configure customers’ preferences among others.

Adaptive pricing system

Adaptive pricing can be used in various use cases where there is a possibility to attain better economic balance by changing water profile use during the day through price responsiveness of consumers, e.g. reducing outwear of the system caused by serving peak demands. Computation of dynamic prices profile resides on optimization of the predicted techno-economic evolution of the water distribution system, taking into account the presumed responsiveness of end-users to price signal in various environmental conditions.

Automatic Billing system

The Automatic Billing System (ABS) is the central component for the Customer Empowerment Tools to be developed in WP5. It enables the interaction between one or several utility service providers and their customers.

Orga Systems delivers cutting edge charging and billing technologies for leading Mobile Network Operators. Today, Orga Systems’ convergent real-time charging and billing products and solutions enable profitable business also in the areas of telematics (M2M) and smart energy solutions.

For Urban water project Orga Systems will use it core plattform to establish an  Automatic Billing System (ABS) for water management. This will be  the central component for the Customer Empowerment Tools to be developed in WP5. It enables the interaction between one or serveral utility service providers and their customers. The following figure 1 shows the main roles, surrounding modules and business functions supported.

 automatic_billing_system_urbanwater

Click here for tool tips for the graphic

A key business function supported is the meter reading to bill process. For this meter read data based on consumed resources (i.e. water in m3) can be retrieved automatic and charged to an account. In difference to standard billing systems this can be done based on interval data (i.e. 15, 60 min) received for each meter. The related costs are determined on the fly for the actual valid tariff and price.

The benefit is that the customer can always query about his consumption and cost to avoid a bill shock at the end of the month. More than this the consumer can define thresholds and get notifications if consumption or costs are overrun.

 

UrbanWater Platform

The UrbanWater platform will be in charge of managing and monitoring the different modules developed by UrbanWater. The services will be managed and monitored through an administration web-based user interface. Each of the modules developed in UrbanWater as well as future services can be published on the service catalogue of the platform or removed dynamically. The platform will offer different services to all the modules like: messaging, authentication, secure access to the data base.

Open API / External data access

This module will allow third parties (public regulators, city councils, external applications) to access some of the data of the platform. The information will be accessible trough web services using OpenData. The information available to third parties will be published as public (available for everyone) or restricted (available with credentials). In addition an API will be provided for software developers that want to use the functionality of the platform.