Regional cooperation on digitalising water is now underway. The collaboration involves Molde municipality, Ålesund municipality, ROR-IKT, and InfoTiles, with recognition and support from the National Institute of Public Health.
Video: Andreas Winter
Sustainable water through innovation and technology
As part of the Smart Molde initiative, Smart Water aims at raising water awareness in society, detecting leaks in both homes and the local water transport system, and reducing the over-consumption of water.
The approach takes into account the residents' needs and considers which sustainable methods and solutions ultimately make Molde a better place to live, live and work.
"Good, coherent, and user-adapted services for the municipality's residents, increasing opportunities for value creation in the business community, and having a more efficient municipal operation are what we work to achieve.", said Mette Jane Holland, Coordinator for Smart Molde.
There are currently manual processes for measuring and settling mechanical water meters and handling cases of missing readings and complaints. With smart water meters, Molde municipality measures and analyses the municipal water supply data across systems and actors. This enables the municipality to act based on facts. This could also enable new services such as real-time notification of leaks inside the home and on the line into the home, notification of abnormally high water consumption, notification that the water is about to freeze, and more.
Regional cooperation to ensure the delivery of safe and sustainable drinking water to the inhabitantsThere are several technologies that will now be explored in the work ahead:
- Water meters: Experience from previous tests shows that water meters that transmit data over NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, or other technology are less mature than first thought. Technology from various suppliers will be tested and improve the knowledge base for later purchasing and roll-out.
- Data platform: Handles data from water meters and other sources as well as models for analysing data. This activity also includes IoT reception.
- Water leaks: Demonstrate that the platform makes it possible to track water consumption and any leaks in a limited area.
The National Institute of Public Health is supporting the project since it will contribute to more innovative and smart water management. New solutions will now be tested, and work will be done on knowledge-building and collaboration in the pursuit of ensuring the delivery of safe and sustainable drinking water to the inhabitants.
InfoTiles used as the nexus for all data
Built on Microsoft Azure, InfoTiles is the platform for consolidating data from smart water meters, sensors, and domain systems all in one place, processing and turning data into insights by applying real-time analytics and machine learning.
The data platform will initially have a special focus on how the technology can be used to map and repair leaks in the drinking water network, in addition to monitoring the Molde River. With this solution, the municipality can monitor the municipal water supply in real time, register where there is a fault or leak, and repair it as quickly as possible.
"In previous pilots, we have confirmed several important steps to make Molde municipality a data- and fact-driven municipality. We have received confirmation of how we can send data from open sensors to a data platform where we have control over the data at all stages. This experience has been very important for further investment in big data." explains Bjarte Koppen, the general manager of Molde water and sewerage.
Illustration of the testing model for Smart Water Meters ("Smart Vannmålere").
Photo: Molde municipality
"The purpose of the data platform is to scale up the use of smart water meters, by expanding and further developing the scope and establishing an operating model for the data platform." said Jørgen Gravdehaug Stensby, project manager in Smart data. A close collaboration between Molde and Ålesund is now planned for the transfer of experience and possible scaling, as well as other municipalities in the county that wish to participate. The technology and methods we develop must be transferable to other municipalities."
Johnny Alexander, chief executive of InfoTiles, said following the collaboration: "Collaborating with a region like Møre og Romsdal on water and the smart city area is incredibly rewarding. Here we have a region that really focuses on innovation to deliver better services to its citizens."
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