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‘Smart water’ pilot harnesses LoRaWAN network


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A programme has begun to roll out a ‘smart water’ network in the south of England using internet of things (IoT) devices and a long range wide area (LoRaWAN) network.

Technology company Connexin is working on the project with Icosa Water with the aim of optimising the efficiency of the network.

A spokesperson for Connexin said the first trial has begun, with the system going live for about 100 Arad smart water meters in homes in the region. The network is capable of supporting thousands of devices and, depending on feedback, the project is likely to be scaled up in the future.

He said the LoRaWAN can provide the necessary connections for meters located underground or in harsh outdoor environments, and that the network has been built using Cisco and Semtech technology.

Arad’s smart meter management software is gathering the data to provide real time information on water capacity levels, consumption and pass through, then feeding it back to Icosa Water. This should support the company in taking a proactive approach to resolving any issues.

Connexin chief technology officer Will Kebbell said: “By actively monitoring water pressure and investigating abnormalities, water companies can be more proactive – resolving issues before they escalate or affect customers.”

The news comes after BT’s announcement in April that has formed a partnership with Northumbrian Water to capture data from smart water meters through a LoRaWAN network and IoT platform in the Sunderland area.

Supply strain

Connexin highlighted the strains on water supplies, claiming that 3.1 billion litres are lost each day in the UK.

It cited a recent warning from Sir James Bevan, head of the Environment Agency, that the country could run out of water in under 25 years. He told the Waterwise conference in London earlier this year: “Around 25 years from now, where those (demand and supply) lines cross is known by some as the ‘jaws of death’ – the point at which we will not have enough water to supply our needs, unless we take action to change things.”

Image from Connexin

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