UK WATER INDUSTRY RESEARCH

My UKWIR

Big question

How do we halve Freshwater Abstractions in a Sustainable way by 2050?

We are currently working on the approach to answering this Big Question, and more information will be given here soon.

The areas that this Big Question covers includes:

  • Resilient water resources that cope with, and recover from, disruptions as well as anticipate trends and variability in order to maintain our supplies
  • Eliminate water wastage
  • Maximise use of potential new sources of drinking water (eg. desalination, final effluent re-use, rainwater harvesting)

Once we understand where the gaps are, we will produce a route map – this is a plan as to how we will answer our Big Question.

The route map will have a number of key elements. At the top will be our Big Question and then we will look to see what Outcomes we need from the research programme -if we can achieve all these outcomes we can answer the Big Question. This is the stage we are currently at for this Big Question.

The next stage will be to think about the key benefits we want the research projects to deliver to meet these outcomes.

Following this, we will plan the research projects to help deliver the benefits.

RESEARCH Outcomes







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Projects


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Basic mechanisms of bursts and leakage

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

No Further Information Currently Available


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Laying leak free new networks

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

No Further Information Currently Available.


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Leak repair techniques

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Leakage detection by acoustic methods

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

No Further Information Currently Available.


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Leakage detection by non-acoustic methods

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

No Further Information Currently Available.


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Project 2 - Incidence and causes of repeat bursts at old repairs

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Leakage

Distribution Maintenance staff at water companies know well that many leaks and bursts, once excavated, prove to be at the location of a previous repair, and occur as a result of a failure of the old repair. However it is not known how much data is collected on this, and there is no quantitative evidence of the magnitude or significance of this problem at national level. Nor has there been any study of the reasons for the failures, i.e. whether they are due to deterioration of the clamp or other repair materials over time, or whether they are caused by faulty workmanship at the time of the initial repair.

Many companies do record the types of failure within their records of mains and service bursts. However these descriptions are often very brief (e.g. “pin-hole”), and the fact that the failure was at a previous repair may not be recorded. This project will initially assess the availability of suitable data, in collaboration with participating water companies. The UKWIR National Mains Failure Database may also be a valuable source of data.


 

Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Water accounting and quantification methods

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

No Further Information Available.


 

BQ Achieving zero leakage by 2050: Project 1 - Use of smart meters and smart networks for leakage management

Project Status - Project submitted as Complete

Category - Leakage

Modern technology has made it possible to collect much greater quantities of data, and at higher resolution. Leakage analysis methods and leak detection technology have both made many advances in recent years, but data collection and manipulation processes have hardly changed. The basic principle of measuring minimum night flow into a DMA, and then subtracting estimates of household and non-household night use to give leakage, remains unchanged in the past 30 years.

However the recent growth in smart networks, and particularly the use of smart meters for revenue purposes, could offer many new opportunities for better leakage management. It is essential that these opportunities and benefits are identified now, so that water companies can take them into account when making their choices of which smart technologies to invest in.


 

Integration of behavioural change into demand forecasting and water efficiency practices

Project Status - Project Completed

Category - Demand

improve the understanding of customer behaviour and its significance in demand forecasting. Project WR01A €˜Understanding customer behaviour for water demand forecasting€™, which is due to be published in Summer 2014, was the first step towards this objective. The project has been well received by the community, but further work is required to allow customer behaviour to be integrated into forecasts. WR01A showed that an understanding of customer behaviour is also useful in improving the effective targeting of water efficiency measures. Such an understanding offers potential for more efficient water efficiency campaigns resulting in more predictable outcomes.
CU02 also highlighted the need to standardise the questionnaires that water companies use to collect information on their customers€™ and how they use water. This information is vitally important in the preparation of demand forecasts, allowing an understanding of current consumption and how this is likely to change in the future.

 

Establishing a robust case for effluent re-use Phase 2

Project Status - Project Completed

Category - Water Reuse


 

Establishing a robust case for final effluent re-use

Project Status - Project Completed

Category - Water Reuse

The onset and potential longevity of drought conditions in parts of the UK has shown that re-use of final effluent has a key role to play in both drinking water and environmental water cycles.

 

Developing an abstraction incentive mechanism

Project Status - Project Completed

Category - Cost Assessments


 

Catchment Management for Water Quality & Quantity

Project Status - Project Commenced

Category - Drinking Water

The drinking water and environmental regulators have stated that they see the main effort to improve water quality / quantity to be based at a catchment level. This will aid the minimisation of algae, pesticides and colour in the raw water sources which in turn will minimise issues water companies face from taste & odour contacts.

The previous UKWIR project, “Quantifying the benefits of Catchment Management” was undertaken over 5 years ago and the project “Catchment Management – how do we know its worked” was started in 2015/16 but put on hold indefinitely. Catchment management has gained traction since then with some companies making great progress. The time is right for a review of the evidence, for or against, catchment management.



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