Central Event Management
From the start, reducing non-revenue water (NRW) was a priority. As a first step, Unitywater created 200 district metered areas (DMAs) across the network and connected flowmeters and pressure sensors. Along with that, it sought a management solution to enable it to efficiently utilise the information provided by the sensors.
In 2013, Unitywater began working with TaKaDu, a global leader in providing Central Event Management (CEM) solutions to water utilities. With the TaKaDu CEM solution, Unitywater aimed to reduce water loss, shorten repair cycles, improve customer service and increase operational efficiency. Unitywater CEO George Theo noted that with 65% of Queensland drought-declared and the South East Queensland combined water grid dam levels hovering around 55%, water conservation and efficient water management are among the utility’s most important undertakings. It is continuing to advance its digital journey to further reduce non-revenue water (NRW) and costs and improve its network performance and customer service.
Combining Unitywater’s network operations and processes with TaKaDu’s CEM paradigm and its strong analytics technology enables an efficient process for detecting network incidents and managing their cycle until resolution. It also provides Unitywater with full visibility into its water network. Unitywater’s nine-year partnership with TaKaDu has delivered significant customer service improvements and helped save thousands of megalitres of water and millions of dollars for the utility’s service region in South East Queensland.
Since 2013, TaKaDu has detected more than 10,413 ML of water leakage and unauthorised use in the Unitywater network. That’s equivalent to 4,160 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water saved, had the hidden leaks or unauthorised use gone undetected for 12 months. The reduction in NRW loss equates to AUD 27.9 million of savings over the period. In the 2020-21 financial year alone, TaKaDu helped Unitywater detect 1,400 ML of potential water loss at an annualised savings of AUD 4.2 million. That year it recorded just 3.6 water main breaks and leaks per 100 km of mains – significantly below the industry median of 25.1 water main breaks and leaks per 100 km of mains.
Additionally, Unitywater has been able to improve data availability by efficiently detecting and fixing meter issues, and it now typically knows about problems before customers report them. Unitywater can now intelligently prioritise events and take a planned evidence and risk-based approach to maintenance, with less need for an emergency response. All this has had flow-on benefits for improved customer service.
“TaKaDu has been instrumental in helping position Unitywater as an industry leader in innovation and technology, which has delivered exceptional outcomes for our environment and our customers.”George Theo, Former CEO, Unitywater