WEX Global 2015 Review

    The Water and Energy Exchange 2015 (WEX Global) took place from the 23rd – 25th of February in Istanbul.

    The review of Day 2 of the event was written by Oliver Grievson founder of WIPAC (Water Industry Process Automation & Control). Find out more here: https://wipac.org.uk/


    “Day 2 of the Water & Energy Exchange and yet more innovations. The day started with early morning meetings with innovations in the Water Industry that some have been looking over for awhile. Not quite in my area as it was around biosolids but when you come to a conference such as this you look at all of the innovations that are presented to you. This particular innovation it turns out has been under investigation for a few years and having been through the mill of the water industry is being adopted.

    Next up was my own presentation in a part of the conference when I was very much on my own. Regular readers of the Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group will recognise a number of themes that I discussed in my 15 minutes of presentation mainly surrounding the issues of data and how we use it. The long and the short of it being that if we define the information that we want and assign value to it then the data we collect and the instruments that we install will have value and be looked after. The vast majority of the data we collect is of course assigned with an unknown value and the data quality is questioned. The question is why…if instruments are installed correctly and the data/information they collect is valued then as a result you get good meaningful value. This is of course all associated with the technology triangle of not only having the correct technology but having the people engagement as well as the correct systems in place.

    Straight after me was a session sponsored by Arcadis on Non Revenue Water and included a roundtable of experts including Malcolm Farley, & Pini Sagi of the leak detection company Gutterman. The points splitting non-revenue water loss into actual and virtual water losses was interestingly made. Not being a potable water person anymore it wasn’t something I thought of but of course meter error can be a big causal factor of “water loss” A fascinating case study was given which commercialised non-revenue water loss in Haifa, Israel was given with a rough value of 10.5K Euros per annum. The NRW in the area before a big programme of reduction was approximately 17% and with engineering solutions and a big investment missed the target by a very long way and only achieved a 1% reduction. Investigations ensued and the reasons for leakage defined coupled with the use of the correct technological solution and the correct software the desired reduction was achieved. The Q&A session from this roundtable highlighted a weakness in how we actually benchmark NRW a suggestion of the financial measure was made.

    The last session before lunch that I went to was sponsored by Sensus and was about Choosing the Right Infrastructure. The highlight for me was a presentation by the Portuguese Water Company EPAL. They famously reduced NRW from 23% to 7% in three years using the development of their own WONE system which identified “hot” areas for leakage that enable targeted infrastructure improvements. Their big announcement of the day was their next innovation with Water Beep, a mobile phone application that lets the customer, at a modest monthly fee, track their water use so that they can be proactive about customer side leakage. It seems like EPAL have done it again and come up with useful useable software solutions.

    The afternoon saw the Innovations Forum which saw five presenters stand in front of industry leaders such as Piers Clarke, Frank Rogalla & Fiona Griffiths and explain then benefits of the innovations that they have developed. Those presenting included Amcom with their Volute Sludge Process, Thames Water and White Boxing of digester performance using Artificial Neural Networks. The winner was to announced at the Global Awards Gala Dinner in the evening.

    The gala dinner was of course a special occasion an was complete with Turkish dancing and a fantastic environment. The awards ceremony, the culmination of the conference. I was presenting the award for Process Technology and it was a category won by Degremont. The interesting category for me was a win by Santander City Council with their Smart City approach in the technology category, a win for Vitens in the operations category for their Humvee technology and the WEX Global Innovation Award 2015 going to AMCON and the Volute process.

    Overall it has been a fascinating couple of days and with more to come tomorrow there is still more to learn and more innovation to take back to the UK and once i’m back there look towards Lisbon and 2016.”


    Join WIPAC (Water Industry Process Automation & Control) on Linkedin to discuss the latest industry trends. Find out more here: https://wipac.org.uk/

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