Blog
10 Jun 20
Fighting water scarcity through Fire Supply monitoring
Water Scarcity

On average, every single person in England consumes 143 litres of water per day.

 

That’s the equivalent to around one and a half baths of water every day, for each of England’s approximately 56,000,000 residents, and this number is growing.  In fact, demand has increased each year since 2015, according to a recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO Water Supply and Demand Management report also explained that, due to climate change, daily demand for water in England and Wales will rise almost 30%, from 14bn litres to 18bn litres.

The concern is, due to increasing temperatures, less water will be harvested through sustainable abstraction (the process of taking water from the ground or surface water bodies), and with demand growing, not meeting the deficit could cause the risk of drought in South East England, one of the country’s most populated areas.

Water companies are playing their part, by undertaking large-scale network monitoring projects in an effort to hit ambitious leak reductions targets.

However, the NAO report is calling for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to do more to ensure that the threat of water scarcity in the UK is not realised.

One recommendation made in the report is for Defra to promote a more coherent and credible message about water efficiency.  While water companies are using social media campaigns successfully to educate customers about what is safe to flush, more could be done to encourage efficient use of water.  

It is suggested in the report that the government should take the lead on getting across of the message that customers need to save water.

Commercial property water consumption is highlighted in the NAO report as an area in which more could be done to increase water efficiency.  It is suggested that Defra should work with other government departments to reduce water consumption by large public sector users like schools and hospitals.

Private sector water consumers, such as factories, offices, retail outlets and building sites should also be encouraged to consider how efficiently they use water.

By reducing water consumption, not only will private companies be contributing to staving off potential water scarcity, they may also generate significant financial rewards thorough cost savings.

 

Fire Supply Monitoring

 

One area in which significant water and cost savings are achievable for water companies is fire supply monitoring.

To provide remote fire supply monitoring, HWM-Invenio has developed Flow.Watch, a unique, patented, solution that combines advanced temperature analysis with our NBIoT telemetry technology.  Flow.Watch identifies and categorises fire supply flow into leakage, test use and intermittent use.

This enables water companies to identify the fire supplies from which water is being used or lost.  Benefitting from remote set up, Flow.Watch is a versatile, easily-installed system that provides a non-intrusive alternative to metering.

Flow.Watch is a proven fire supply monitoring solution.  In a recent case study, Flow.Watch was installed to monitor the fire mains systems of 118 large industrial facilities belonging to one of the UK’s largest water companies.

Over an 8-week period, over half of these sites (60) were found to have regular water usage events from the unmetered fire supply, with more than half of these having some form of leak.

Flow testing in the fire supply of one property discovered usage of 375 litres/minute.  With weekly tests lasting on average 38 minutes, we estimated up to 230,000 litres/week of usage from fire supply testing alone.

In another trial, in Italy, we discovered that 59% of industrial buildings surveyed (61) had regular water use events.  In this trial, 60% of these properties were found to be illegally using the fire supply to supplement the meter.

These successful trials demonstrate that Flow.Watch can play an important role in delivering both water and cost savings.

As the NAO report highlights, reducing unaccounted-for is essential in fighting water scarcity.  Flow.Watch can help to achieve reductions in usage and efficiently deliver the associated cost savings also.

 

For more information about Flow.Watch please click here.

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