The HIDROLEAKS2.0 project won the award for best project in the category of collaborative projects between companies at the fifteenth edition of the National Clusters Congress, which took place on the 7th and 8th of November in Valencia. It was a project led by CWP and participated by the operators Aigües de Vic and Aigües de Manresa, and the companies offering solutions B’GEO Open GIS, Createch Solutions and Neurite, with the support of the cluster of the Basque Country, ACLIMA. The project will finish the implementation period in August 2022 and has been financed through the funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan by the call for Innovative Business Associations (AEI) 2021b of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
HYDROLEAKS2.0 has aimed to develop tools that allow water distribution network managers to better control their parameters, with special emphasis on the early detection of leaks. For this reason, it has proposed the creation of a data repository filtered according to quality criteria and automated, generated with network, meter, subscriber and geospatial data. From the combination of the repository with a high temporal resolution hydraulic model and a high level of detail of the elements and scales, a digital database was generated, capable of simulating in a virtual environment, the behaviour of the Vic water distribution network. At the same time, an artificial intelligence module was designed, capable of working on the digital twin network, being trained with time series and with the capacity to anticipate trains and identify leaks. Together, these tools also allow information to be obtained on other relevant parameters such as chlorine concentration, pressure, sedimentation patterns at troughs or abnormal consumption patterns by subscribers.
Finally, all the data are integrated and visualised in a remote management platform that has a dashboard to plot the information on the network map, program alarms or obtain specific network information, either as a whole or by subsectors (DMA). This project is based on the results obtained in the HYDROLEAKS project, a first phase of HYDROLEAKS2.0 tested in the city of Manresa. Its objective was to generate an innovative tool to increase the knowledge of the network by combining a hydraulic model and a basic artificial intelligence module to extrapolate the values of various key network parameters such as head or chlorine concentration. HYDROLEAKS2.0 has represented the next step, including behavioural prediction and allowing much more detailed observation and detailed network control.
The recognition of HYDROLEAKS2.0 as the best collaborative project between companies in 2022 by the National Federation of Clusters and AEIs (FENAEIC), highlights the importance of the application of digital technologies to improve efficiency in water management. The value of Innovation and Development in improving the management of such a strategic resource in Spain as water through digitisation is particularly relevant in the current context of drought. It is to be expected that due to the effects of climate change and the resulting intermittent rainfall patterns, water will gradually become a scarcer commodity and improvements in its management will become increasingly necessary. The percentage of unregistered water in the network is a recurrent problem in distribution networks and can be high in some cases, entailing not only significant economic losses, but also a high environmental impact that must be reduced through collaboration between the different agents in the water sector. Future actions are currently being planned by CWP and its partners to facilitate the sector’s move towards digitalisation and ensure access to such a precious and cross-cutting commodity as water.