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Smart Water Project of the Year: Shortlist

For the project that most effectively harnessed digital solutions to achieve excellence in water or wastewater management in 2019.

Shortlisted Nominees


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.


Mogilev smart wastewater management, Belarus

What is it?

An integrated plant process control automation and management system covering sewage pumping stations owned by the water utility for Mogilev, a city of 350,000 people in eastern Belarus. The system uses intelligent algorithms to predict demand, identify leaks and monitor equipment conditions, reduction maintenance costs dramatically.

What has it done?

The supply of the Aquatoria system developed by Technikon and Mitsubishi Electric integrated information from across the water network to locate inefficiencies and keep pumps operating at optimal efficiency.

What makes it special?

The process has hugely cut back costs for a under-pressure water utility, reducing energy consumption by a massive 15% and decreasing network pressure by 7%. The project has simply transformed the city’s ability to manage the costs associated with its water infrastructure.

By providing an integrated control system which brings together water and process data flow to give a real-time image of an entire network’s operations, the utility can now identify and correct inefficiencies at lightning pace.


The use of virtual reality technology to train staff allowed for the instantaneous sharing of skills and insight and mean the simulation of alarms and emergency cases could be fully tested in order to guard against any possibility of service interruption at the city’s crucial water facilities.


Nosedo Aquavista platform, Italy

What is it?

A digital water platform at the Nosedo WWTP in Milan, the largest full agricultural reuse plant in Europe with a capacity of 1,250,000 p.e. Veolia’s Aquavista system brings together data from across the treatment plant and the sewer network to anticipate flow peaks in wet weather and automatically optimise consumption of chemicals, energy and hydraulic performance.

What has it done?

By integrating the operation of the sewer network and the WWTP to maximise technical efficiency, Aquavista has effectively increased hydraulic performance without building new facilities. This has also yielded operational savings of close to €400,000 per year.

What makes it special?

As perhaps the most significant reference to date for Aquavista, the work at the enormous plant provides a suite of process control capabilities for wet weather conditions that have completely overhauled operations at a critical piece of national infrastructure.

The operational improvements allow for energy use reduction of up to 30% at the plant, a staggeringly important achievement for one of the world’s most energy-intensive sectors.


Through the digital platform, customers can access operational support directly from Veolia, including site visits, access to troubleshooting online, and emergency support. Aquavista also provides operator training resources, as well as intra-community support and communication, flawlessly bringing together the expertise of public and private sectors.


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.


The Global Water Awards 2020 is proudly sponsored by:

Dupont Water Solutions

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