Summary of the project: Improving the efficiency of water management in Europe has been recognised by the Euroopean Commission as essential for overcoming the growing exposure of European countries to Water Scarcity and Droughts. UrbanWater proposes a platform that will enable a better end to-end water management in urban areas, accounting for 17% of freshwater consumption in the EU.

Water is vital for the existence of humans, animals, plants and is a basic requirement for numerous sectors. Although water covers over 70% of the Earth, only 1% is freshwater. Water sustains agriculture and, thus, the food chain. Electric power plants depend heavily on water and vast quantities of water are also used to help powering and cooling electronic devices. Water demand worldwide has more than doubled since the Second World War and it is expected to increase another 25% by 2030.

This system will incorporate advanced metering solutions, real-time communication of consumption data and new data management technologies for water demand forecasting, consumption pattern interpretation, water utilities and authorities decision support, adaptive pricing and user empowerment.

UrbanWater main challenges

The scientific and technologic challenges identified in the project as key enablers to develop new technological solutions to efficiently manage water are:

  • To effectively estimate water demand in urban areas in order to efficiently manage water supply chains.
  • To reduce waste of water and economic losses associated to leakages in the urban water distribution network.
  • To smoothen daily water demand daily peaks in order to allow distributors to save costs related to the urban water distribution networks’ management.
  • To guarantee efficient and secure computational data management on the base of smart grids’ recent and upcoming deployments in Europe.
  • To reduce operating and maintenance costs associated with water metering and billing in urban areas.
  • To incentivise urban household’s to reduce current consumption and soften the current European water demand peaks, side-by-side with decreasing their own water expenditures.
  • To build effective partnerships and develop innovation synergies between equipment providers, ICT companies and water distributors.

Which are the general benefits of UrbanWater?

  • Change customers’ acquired habits and improve behavioural patterns in water use
  • Foster communication between customers’ and utilities.
  • Cost-savings in periodic bills
  • Cost-savings in distribution network’s maintenance
  • Cost-savings in water smart meters batteries.
  • Decrease overall water consumption.
  • Reduce European water consumption peaks.
  • Decentralized and efficient water supply.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Reduce water pollution.