Water Loss Asia 2022

The biennial Water Loss Asia (WLA) 2022 conference was held in a virtual format this year on 8-10 November. Supported by International Water Association (IWA) Water Loss Specialist Group, WLA 2022 brings together experts and leaders in the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) industry. The 3-day conference focused on controlling NRW through a deep exploration of digital technology and artificial intelligence available on the market today.

The water industry was adversely affected by the pandemic, with unprecedented slowdowns and changes in working methods. On the other hand, it has accelerated positive digital transformation. The resumption of commercial and social activities is both an opportunity and a challenge for water service providers. The water sector can rebuild a more sustainable and resilient water sector by adopting appropriate digital technologies for long-term water security.

Stuart presented a paper on “Trialling Artificial Intelligence to Find Leaks in Melbourne CBD.” The paper covered a trial of AI to analyse noise files collected by 50x NB-IoT noise loggers. Noise loggers present a great opportunity to monitor a network for leaks and using AI can assist with prioritisation of leak alerts and filtering out the false alerts. The trial demonstrated that leakage monitoring could be carried out even during Melbourne’s pandemic lockdowns, resulting in a reduced footprint on site. No longer is every asset required to be physically inspected for leak noise. With permanent (or semi-permanent) monitoring existing and emerging leaks can be pinpointed remotely by in-the-cloud correlations. Due to the power of NB-IoT noise files, recorded by the loggers when a continuous leak noise signature is detected, can be listened to remotely on any Internet-enabled device. Combining the learning algorithm of the artificial intelligence with manual checks the number of site visits can be reduced and the accuracy of the leak alerts increased. This saves time, and hence leakage volume, reduces our carbon footprint via fewer site visits and dry holes dug, and reduces exposure and possible transmission of COVID-19. With the advent of Water 4.0 the water industry now has many more exciting and technical tools to combat inefficient water leakage.