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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 2019. See the full shortlist showreel here.

Safeswim programme, Auckland, New Zealand

What is it?

A smart solution to water quality prediction, using analytics to understand the complex behavior of the city’s wastewater network, storm drainage systems and the natural environment to forecast water quality across 109 beaches. Information is distributed online and through a free app.

What has it done?

With 3,700 kilometres of coastline, Auckland boasts some of New Zealand’s finest beaches but sewage overflow, especially after heavy rain, can pose serious health risks to swimmers and surfers. Mott MacDonald’s data management and analytics platform, Moata, processes 8 billion data points every day, aggregating information on wastewater overflow, weather patterns and tidal movements to forecast water quality.

What makes it special?

The system brings together hundreds of data streams and around a dozen contributing organizations to make sense of water information in a notoriously fragmented utility background. The upshot is that 1.4 million Auckland residents and more than 3 million annual visitors can make informed decisions about where and when to swim.

As the first programme of its kind to successfully predict future water quality, Safeswim is one of the most comprehensive, federated digital twins currently in operation, expertly demonstrating the concrete life improvements that smart water can provide.


The programme has also highlighted the value of effective wastewater infrastructure, prompting widespread public support for a rate increase to fund a NZ$400 million investment to improve water quality in the region.


Antelope oilfield water blockchain management, USA

What is it?

A blockchain-based smart contract system supplied by Houston-based Data Gumbo managing and assessing the use and transportation of water for oilfield water service company Antelope Water Management in the Permian Basin. The system reads metered barrels of produced water from a well location and matches data with a field ticketing system all the way through to the disposal facility.

What has it done?

It is the first deployment of a blockchain platform for total water management in US shale plays, and sees a technology more often seen in the offshore drilling side of the business shifted to the water business. Both wellfield operator and disposal facility see the same accurate data and can bill based on matching data, allowing them to monitor and manage the increasingly costly business of oilfield water.

What makes it special?

One of the biggest inefficiencies in the oil and gas sector is the management and disposal of produced water. As regulatory focus increases, the ability to instantly transact metered data in real time without inaccuracies and among multiple parties, allows everyone to squeeze the best possible in terms of value from water management.

The process offered immediate cost reductions – operators can expect to realise cost savings of 25% at wellpads compared to managing their water disposal on a ‘dumb’ basis.


The installation came at a time of rapid change for the shale oil water management market. Antelope has bene a leading proponent of centralised water recycling facilities in a Permian market that has traditionally been very disparate. Having a tight rein over costs makes its ambitious plans all the more realistic.