Sector Team Joins Smart Water Networks Forum

29 April 2013

Costain’s Water Sector team has become a member of the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN), an international organisation that uses data technologies to try and shape the future distribution of water more efficiently.

As water supplies decrease and pressure on the UK’s water networks increases, smarter management of existing assets is becoming increasingly important. A smart water network, or water IT, uses data-driven software and components to automatically optimise the performance of reservoirs, pumps, water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution pipes. Membership of SWAN reinforces Costain’s commitment to bringing innovative and cost effective solutions to its water customers.

Costain has a Gold membership of the forum, which denotes the size of the Company. Membership of SWAN gives Costain the opportunity to collaborate with other industry leading corporations and individuals, both nationally and internationally, to work towards the improved efficiency, longevity and reliability of water networks around the world. Examples of other high profile members are ABB, CISCO, TaKaDu, Siemens, Talis and Grundfos, as well as water providers and treatment specialists from across the globe.

With rapid development in wireless technologies and data monitoring hardware, Smart Networks is at the forefront of the innovation movement in the water sector globally. The use of data technologies has been widely used in the economy for years, from oil and gas to electricity utilities, but it’s relatively new in the water sector, said Graham Keegan, Costain’s Water Sector Director.

“Smart networks are composed of sensors that collect and transmit field data to central computers, where the information is then sorted and analysed by sophisticated software. The computer system then makes decisions about supply and demand and automatically sends out commands to valves, switches and pumps in order to fine-tune the network. The benefits include fewer leaks and spills, reduced energy consumption, longer infrastructure life, and lower operating costs,” said Graham.

SWAN’s mission is “to connect and represent a global network of water professionals engaged with Smart Water Network approaches, in order to promote the development and adoption of data driven systems for better water network management and operation.”

During 2013, SWAN has three ongoing workgroups: Smart Water Network Architecture – focused around mapping of systems; Data Protocols & Structure – focused around standardisation; and Investors, Utilities & Entrepreneurs – focused around alignment of innovative solutions with investment and opportunities to trial. Collectively these groups will work towards providing clear targets for development and strategy in this area.

“We are delighted to be associated with SWAN which gives us an excellent platform to exchange ideas and promote a better understanding about how we can meet the changing demands of water usage in the future,” said Graham.

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