General enquiries :
+44 (0)20 7602 6000

Smart technology: Why it’s time for UK water companies to catch up and put data to work

Wednesday 17 October 2018 Data Insight & Analytics

Colin Giles's picture
By Colin Giles

Water is no longer a commodity – it’s an increasingly precious resource.

As climates change and populations continue to grow, water needs to be managed in new ways to ensure we have a sustainable model for delivering fresh water in the future. We think the solution is smart technology.

Smart tech is already making a difference for other utility suppliers. In line with the government’s mandated goal of getting smart meters into every home in England, Wales and Scotland by 2020 – that’s 26 million homes in the next two years – gas and electricity suppliers are now beginning to see the tangible benefits of the extra capabilities this roll out is offering them.

Of course, smart metering isn’t a regulatory requirement for water companies (yet). But that means there’s a significant opportunity for early adopters to take the lead in providing better services to customers, finding new ways to conserve water and gain the business benefits that gas & electricity suppliers have tapped into.

Ahead of the curve

Some water suppliers, including Thames Water and Anglian Water, have already invested in smart technology to address social, environmental and economic challenges in some of the most water stressed and densely-populated areas of the UK.

By deploying smart meters in homes and businesses as well as other metering devices across their infrastructure, they are not only monitoring, recording and analysing their customers’ demand patterns to maximise process efficiency – they’re also constantly measuring the health of the delivery network itself. That means identifying and responding to leaks more quickly, anywhere from reservoir to tap.
 

As climates change and populations continue to grow, water needs to be managed in new ways to ensure we have a sustainable model for delivering fresh water in the future. We think the solution is smart technology.

In-home smart meters can also encourage consumers to be more attentive to the ways they personally use water and change their behaviours to save money (and resources). This, in turn, will make it easier for providers to manage their own resources.

Water suppliers will also see a new opportunity to personalise and target the ways to communicate and deliver services to customers – with an ever-growing store of usage information, customer habits and peaks & troughs in demand.

Handling the data deluge

This increase in monitoring, from the thousands of meters in homes to the devices dotted around the network, are generating large amounts of new data, faster and more detailed than ever before. What used to take traditional systems months to collect can be delivered by smart tech in near real-time, so providers can develop a picture of what’s happening in their network now – not yesterday, not last week, not last month. Right now.

However, this influx of vast volumes of data isn’t a benefit by itself. Without an effective way to analyse the information and action the insights it gives them, companies are simply adding to their IT burden to store it. Suppliers need to be able to integrate, aggregate, analyse and visualise the raw unstructured data to make something useful out of it.

And that means putting the right data management systems in place to deliver the value.
 

Getting value from your smart tech solutions

Water companies are at a tipping point. Without a new, tech-driven approach to monitoring our water resources, the UK will struggle to deliver a future-proofed way to manage the supply.

On the other hand, investing in smart technology isn’t cheap and companies need to be confident of a return in investment, regardless of whether they operate in a water stressed area or not. That’s why it’s crucial for any investment decision to be made on a clear understanding of how you capture, process and derive insight from the data you collect. 

Water companies are at a tipping point. Without a new, tech-driven approach to monitoring our water resources, the UK will struggle to deliver a future-proofed way to manage the supply.

As a trusted partner to government and industry in mission-critical, data-intensive projects including SMETS 2 smart metering, HMRC Tax Portal and the Rail Data Action Plan, CACI Digital Systems help organisations extract maximum value from data enabling them to operate more efficiently and provide valuable new services to customers.

If you’re interested in how our bespoke services can help you build a more colourful, holistic view of your data and what it means, please get in touch with me via email or on +44 (0)20 7605 7009.

smart tech CTA

Explore how smart technology can help water companies revolutionise their infrastructure and make the most of the data deluge.

Smart technology: Why it’s time for UK water companies to catch up and put data to work

Comments

Add new comment