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Smart Water project of the Year

For the project that most effectively harnessed digital solutions to achieve excellence in water or wastewater management in 2018.

Sydney Water Customer Hub, Australia

What is it?

Gathering and acting on feedback from up to 5 million customers in real-time, Customer Hub allows Sydney Water to be proactive in client communications and predictive in asset management. Customer Hub’s technology comprises a geo-spatial situational awareness tool (Spatial Hub), online customer portals, automated customer notification and feedback channels, and an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor pilot, simplifying Sydney Water’s complex water and wastewater networks, making identifying and scheduling maintenance simple.

What has it done?

Customer Hub was an in-house product, bringing together Sydney Water’s customer engagement expertise and service structures under a single point of leadership and making the most of their internal software development capabilities.

What makes it special?

Spatial Hub reduced water outages to around 100,000 properties in 2018, shrinking the number of customers affected by service interruptions by 25-30% annually. By reducing negative customer experiences and service impact, Spatial Hub has already saved Sydney Water over $800,000 in customer rebates.


Additional web channels allow customers to report leaks, view current water outages and register to receive notifications online. Over 20,000 leaks have been reported this way.

Customer Hub has piloted IoT sensors to better understand network performance and identify problems before they become customer issues. The pilot has already returned benefits, with 19 sewer blockages detected and rectified before reaching crisis point. This leading-edge technology will be continually improved to build its predictive capability and focus the Customer Hub on getting ahead of incidents.


Cape Town Day Zero demand management, South Africa

What is it?

As 2018 began, Cape Town’s future was bleak. ‘Day Zero’ – the day the city’s taps would run dry – edged closer, and most solutions to belay the crisis were too slow, complicated, or expensive. Utility Systems’ Water Management Device (WMD) offered a simple way to reduce water consumption quickly and played a pivotal role in avoiding Cape Town’s desiccation. When linked to a pulse output water meter, Utility Systems’ WMD enabled operators to manage the water supplied to each outlet, affording remote, two-way communication, configuration, and valve control.

What has it done?

Utility Systems developed its WMD entirely in house, but worked closely with regional distributors – Saki’khaya Suppliers – and the City of Cape Town to make sure the solution was rolled out quickly, efficiently, and exactly where the city needed it most.

What makes it special?

Utility Systems’ domestic demand management solution helped the City of Cape town reduce its consumption by a stunning 40% as it successfully avoided Day Zero.


After supplying Cape Town with WMD for 10 years prior to the crisis, Utility Systems’ WMD coverage doubled last year; ramping up supply and providing an additional 1,600-2,400 units/month during the crisis. The system now covers 30-40% of Cape Town households.

Utility Systems’ hardware will now form the basis of a new AMI and leak detection network for Cape Town. The data the system provides is an integral part of Cape Town’s long-term water security planning.

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