Digitally Enabled

Two-way customer/utility relationships are empowered through technology, building community trust in water service providers. Technologies such as smart phone apps, websites and social media provide customisable information to connect service providers with their communities. Crowd-sourcing community knowledge informs water utilities of local conditions for example, water leaks, flood-prone locations, and water quality, supporting service providers to respond to issues promptly.

Digital twins provide a virtual replica of real- world water assets, networks, and systems. 3D models are utilised in design and construction, for example determining pipe alignments that avoid other underground services. Digital twins draw on multiple data-sets to analyse asset performance to inform renewal programmes and operations. System models support understanding of how services respond to various scenarios, such as extreme rainfall, improving planning processes.

Common platforms, data standards, and protocols for sharing of water-related data-sets across agencies provide a single source of truth to inform decisions. Appropriate safeguards are in place to protect privacy and guard against cyberthreats, whilst still providing the benefits of open and accessible data.

Reliable and comprehensive data-sets create the underpinning for all digital solutions. Comprehensive data-sets are established by: drawing together legacy data-sets; developing efficient modes for data collection in the field; and using technology to plug gaps in knowledge. Appropriate metadata and data standards support understanding of the data’s reliability. Communication technology is widely deployed, with redundancy in place for emergencies

Digital solutions play a crucial role in enhancing workforce productivity and reducing health and safety risks. Technology replaces workers in high-risk activities; for example inspections in confined spaces or at heights are conducted using robot mounted cameras. Communications and telemetry networks enable remote working, improving efficiency and lone worker safety. Electronic platforms improve connection across organisations, breaking down organisational silos. Deployment of these solutions is underpinned in investment in a digitally literate workforce.