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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 2022.

Shortlisted Nominees


Northumbrian Water real-time reservoir monitoring, UK

What is it?

Northumbrian Water and Siemens worked together to develop a real-time water quality monitoring system in 2022, which was quickly scaled to cover 10 service reservoirs in England. The project overcame a wave of operational challenges to measure vital quality indicators in real-time, harnessing the power of IoT sensors to monitor disinfection levels and discolouration sources continuously.

What has it done?

The project transformed the management of key service reservoirs while delivering compelling economic advantages. Since its deployment in 2022, multiple benefits have been realised, including a 10% reduction in reservoir maintenance costs, a 10% reduction in chemical expenditure, and a 20% drop in flushing expenses. Consumer satisfaction has also skyrocketed, with a 20% reduction in complaints for taste, odour, and discolouration in targeted water quality zones.

What makes it special?

As utilities continue to make cautious steps towards embracing continuous analytics, Northumbrian Water’s approach has underscored the value of tracking crucial quality metrics in real-time. This has paved the way for others to follow with a powerful – and scalable – deployment model.

In a market where success hinges on hitting consumer-centric targets, the project’s commendable reduction in quality complaints has satisfied customers and regulators alike. Much of this success boils down to Siemens’ comprehensive analytics, which seamlessly deliver the insights needed to meet quality expectations.


Scaling digital innovation in a conservative sector has long been an industry pain point. However, the project sidestepped this challenge by introducing a radical ‘data-as-a-service’ model. By charging only for the operational data generated, Siemens has carved open a new avenue for delivering digital to a risk-averse sector.


Intelligent Network Renewal Programme, Singapore

What is it?

A transformative collaboration between Suez, Echologics and PUB came to the fore in 2022, with a combination of acoustic sensing and risk-based analytics cutting leakage rates to record lows. By pairing Echologics’ condition assessment technology with Suez’s analytics platform, Singapore’s pioneering water operator has been able to prioritise pipeline renewals like never before, delivering sizable capex savings while guaranteeing resiliency in the face of climate change.

What has it done?

Singapore’s stand-out approach saw record leakage reduction rates, dropping from 22 leaks/100km/year in 2015 to just 12 leaks/100km/year in 2022. Equally impressive is the utility’s pin-point approach to pipeline renewals, which has shaved millions off its investment requirements and freed up capital for other projects.

What makes it special?

In a world where squeezed utility budgets meet mounting investment needs, PUB’s approach has proved that digital is about doing more with less. The highly targeted condition assessment project – in conjunction with Suez’s analytics platform – enabled PUB to formulate intervention plans worth their weight in gold, replacing guesswork with digital intelligence.

Situated in one of the most water-sensitive regions of the world, a leaky network is not an option for Singapore’s award-winning operator. Never willing to back away from the challenge, the utility’s seminal work has enabled it to replace 100km of high-risk cast iron mains since 2020, bringing the city one step closer to a resilient water future.


PUB’s project has also proved that collaboration is king. In a sector where digital rivals often compete against each other, the synergies unlocked through combining multiple solutions shows that no company can usher in the digital transformation alone. Instead, the work of PUB, Suez and Echologics proves that bringing stakeholders together must be recipe for digital success.


United Utilities sewer analytics, UK

What is it?

A first-of-its-kind predictive analytics and real-time monitoring platform installed across United Utilities’ wastewater networks in north-west England, with the support of engineer Jacobs. The cutting-edge project saw 20,000 sensors and telemetry systems deployed at over 3,000 network sites, offering the utility a vital window into potential blockages, spills, and sewer collapses.

What did it achieve?

Through leveraging real-time data and analytics, 2022 saw United Utilities detect and resolve over 1,600 operational issues, ranging from internal sewer flooding to network pollution events. Working with Jacobs’ solution has also delivered impressive efficiency gains, cutting pump-station team callouts by 25% and slashing sewage spills by up to 40%.

What makes it special?

With public outcry over sewer overflows placing utilities in the firing line, Jacobs’ solution took United Utilities a significant step toward achieving compliance. Economic incentives soon followed – and with one spill costing up to £25,000, the project quickly proved a financial no-brainer.

As ageing sewer infrastructure is increasingly forced to tackle unpredictable climate impacts, effective sewer management has become a challenge like no other. United Utilities’ work has shown that an agile digital platform can guide operators through these hurdles, maintaining operational excellence in the face of shifting climate demands.


Digital transformations are never smooth sailing, with utilities often struggling to turn isolated data streams into unified insights. Jacobs’ hardware-agnostic platform offers an elegant solution to this challenge, seamlessly tapping into thousands of data points to produce a birds-eye view of sewer operations.


Wellington Water intelligent network management, New Zealand

What is it?

Wellington Water worked closely with ABB to take the resiliency of its drinking water infrastructure to the next level, implementing state-of-the-art flow meters and variable frequency drives to deliver crucial efficiency gains. The dual solution instantly took Wellington’s network monitoring – and management – up a notch, while simultaneously sparking a wave energy savings across pumping stations.

What has it done?

The partnership quickly delivered on its promises in 2022, offering energy efficiency gains of up to 10% while enabling Wellington Water to better monitor network volumes with high-accuracy flow meters. Deploying these devices created an impressive system of connected monitoring points, all capable of measuring flow data in real-time to bolster leakage reduction initiatives.

What makes it special?

With pumping occupying the lion’s share of a utility’s energy consumption, ABB’s intelligent drives were well placed to deliver crucial efficiency gains, squeezing important savings from one of the water cycle’s most intensive energy users.

As scarcity concerns continue to pile pressure on drinking water operators, intelligent and accurate network monitoring has quickly become a necessity. Implementing ABB’s high-accuracy flow meters now means Wellington Water can rise to the challenge, closely tracking network flows to ensure every drop is accounted for.


Built-in verification tools and anomaly detection capabilities have ensured the project can be a lasting one, enabling operators to secure the longevity of their devices with sophisticated asset management tools. In a sector ever pushed to maximise the value of investments, Wellington’s digital infrastructure is now well placed to deliver far into the future.


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