The Limassol Water Board aims to cut down on leaks and waste through its participation in the Water Analytics programme of the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, it announced on Wednesday.
Water scarcity affects 10 per cent of Europeans and results in an estimated €100 billion in damages and lost economic potential in the EU, according to the programme’s website.
Around 10-40 per cent of Europe’s available water is lost because of leaks in the supply system and lack of water-saving technologies.
For instance, in 2015 cities and communities in Cyprus lost more than 20-30 per cent of their water due to leaks, which corresponds to more than €10 million in losses.
Besides financial losses, leaks can lead to broken pipes (causing disruption of operation), water quality degradation problems (affecting the wellbeing of society) and increased energy usage and associated greenhouse gas emissions (affecting climate change).
Reducing the losses by five to ten per cent would have a significant and direct financial impact on utilities.
As small and medium size utilities do not typically have the human and financial capacity to apply technologies to minimise leaks, they often end up with higher percentage of water losses.
Most water utilities currently rely on consumers to report leakages and on their operators to monitor measurements to detect incidents. Though academic research has advanced significantly with intelligent ICT solutions which could enhance the utilities’ capabilities in improving efficiency and detecting leaks, it is in general disconnected from the industry, the website added.
The Water Analytics project aims to bridge these two worlds by making smart water technologies accessible to all water operators offering them an innovative low-cost intelligent software/hardware solution to reduce operational expenses, leaks and energy use. Using research-based data analytics, crowdsourcing and machine learning, the programme aims to improve the ability to detect and isolate incidents within a water network.