High leakage levels, inefficient pipe network maintenance, customer complaints and financial losses are some of the top challenges of water utilities. Many of these troubles can be effectively countered – if you know how to nip the problem at the bud by dealing with the issue of non-revenue water (NRW).
NRW is water that has been produced but cannot be billed. The loss can be the result of leakage or overflow (sometimes referred to as physical losses), theft of water or inaccurate metering (also known as apparent losses), or free use (for example, for firefighting). Calculations suggest that more than US$14 billion is lost every year by water utilities around the world due to NRW. The World Bank recommends that NRW should be less than 25% of the total water produced, while in many countries NRW is up to 60%. High levels of NRW are detrimental to the financial viability of water utilities and pose an extra burden on paying customers. Continue reading “Ways to permanently reduce non-revenue water levels”
Most maritime infrastructure projects are required to undergo vigorous environmental and cultural or social impact assessments before being given the green light to be implemented. These evaluations look out for evidence demonstrating avoidance, minimisation or mitigation of impacts in the preparation, actual construction and post-construction phases.
We ask Juan C. Savioli, Head of the Coastal and Estuarine Department in our office in Malaysia, six questions on ‘Working with Nature’ and whether it is possible to integrate this concept into marine infrastructure designs. Continue reading “Myth or Fact? The concept of ‘Working with Nature’ for maritime infrastructure projects”
Global warming, rising sea levels and rapidly growing cities are placing immense pressure on coastal cities, towns and subsistence communities. The U.S. Population Reference Bureau estimates that almost 6 billion people will be living within 200 kilometres of a coastline by 2025 – close to double the number in 2003. Population growth – along with sea level rise compounded by storm surges and increased rainfall intensity due to climate change – are the key reasons for the increase in coastal flooding and the degradation of our coastal regions and ecosystems today. Continue reading “Best practices for successful coastal flooding adaptation”
It is without question that the effects of human-derived underwater noise on marine life are receiving increased attention from scientists, regulators and the public. One of the core issues is the displacement of marine life from important areas due to behavioural responses to underwater noise from shipping, airguns and pile driving. Another issue is the impairment of hearing, which can be temporary (temporary threshold shift, TTS) or permanent (permanent threshold shift, PTS). Both effects can, at least in theory, lead to population-wide impacts to marine species. Continue reading “Agent-based modelling: Dynamic mapping of the movements of marine life”
It is a well-known fact that accidental oil spills can cause significant negative impacts on the environment – affecting ecosystems, bringing distress to marine life, damaging waterways, ruining infrastructure and economy, to name a few.
The 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico – often cited as the worst environmental disaster in the United States – saw up to 800,000 bird mortalities and approximately 60% decline in the number of laughing gulls along the Gulf coast between 2010 and 2013. Demands are therefore being placed on oil companies, service providers and environmental authorities to be prepared to take proper and efficient action, should an accident occur. Continue reading “Oil spill trajectories in emergency situations: from nerdy models to an easy online service”
Defining its role in providing real customer value
The concept of the Digital Twin is increasingly entering the Water Sector as an innovation driver. More than ever, its role in bringing value to operators is being highlighted by industry professionals around the world.
What is a Digital Twin?
A Digital Twin is a computer model that virtually reflects and simulates a real object, its environment and interaction, providing a picture as accurate as possible of how that object behaves in real time.
This could be a water treatment plant, where the Digital Twin includes process models to simulate the treatment steps, physical assets (e.g. pumps) represented in CAD, and performance models to optimise resources (e.g. energy usage).
Continue reading “The Digital Twin: What is it and how can it benefit the Water Sector?”
User experience design (often termed ‘UX’) is the process of creating products that provide meaningful, relevant and satisfying experiences to users. Most of you are likely to hear the term ‘UX Designer’ coming up more often nowadays. Just what does a UX designer do? Is this a ‘new’ thing? What’s the real background process of creating all these cool stuff?
Get up close and personal with our UX Designers Anna Katrine Høgh Andersen and Luca Mottadelli as they answer our 7 burning questions. Continue reading “7 questions for the User Experience designer”
Stormwater ingress to a city’s sewer system through low gully traps, illegal connections, broken pipes or unsealed manholes is known as Inflow and Infiltration (I&I). This can cause overflows, system strains and interruptions.
What is Inflow & Infiltration?
Inflow: Stormwater that enters the wastewater network directly through gully traps, roofs or illegal connections.
Infiltration: Stormwater or groundwater that enters the wastewater network through cracked pipes and leaky or faulty manholes.
Continue reading “How to reduce inflow and infiltration in a wastewater network”
Potential problems with insufficient water circulation in water tower tanks
Many would assume that water quality is best in the storage tank or near the tank. While that is often the case, there are exceptions where this might be the opposite. Continue reading “Is the darkest place under the candlelight?”
The rapid pace of development in coastal areas often comes at an environmental and ecological cost, with the accelerated loss of coastal nearshore habitats such as seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. However, the presence of these nearshore coastal habitats play an important role in the maintenance of resilience of coastal cities and populations. They confer resilience via ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, moderation of natural hazards and nutrient cycling. There is a recognised and urgent need to stem the loss of these valuable habitats in balance with infrastructure development and economic needs. Continue reading “Safeguarding coastal biodiversity with ecological engineering”