ABB takes lead role in helping to build awareness of solutions for global water leakage issues

2013-04-15 - ABB helps shape success of Global Water Leakage Summit 2013
ABB once again took a leading role in promoting awareness of the issues surrounding leakage and its prevention through its lead sponsorship of the Global Water Leakage Summit 2013. Held in London in mid-March, the two-day event was themed around how to design, manage and maintain water networks, pipes and infrastructure to prevent leaks being built in and continuously reduce leakage levels.

The event featured representatives from water companies and other organisations, who explained their various initiatives and strategies to minimise leakage from water distribution networks to an audience of other water operators, decision-makers and influencers from around the world.

As a key supporter of the event since its creation in 2006, ABB exhibited alongside other organisations together with its partner TaKaDu, bringing a combined approach to explaining and exploring new ways to find and fix leaks more quickly.

A key aim of the event was to encourage the exchange of best practice examples between representatives for tackling water leakage.

The first day of the event was chaired by Tony Harding, Executive Vice President, Suez Environment International, who addressed the question of whether enough is still being done to acknowledge and tackle water leakage. Sessions during the day focused on a broad range of topics, ranging from advice on how to win support within utilities companies for managing leakage and non-revenue water (NRW) through to suggestions for building intelligence into pipe networks in order to better identify potential and existing leaks.

Jack Carnell, former South Staffs water company CEO, chaired the afternoon sessions, which were rounded off by two international case studies on implementing a non-revenue water reduction strategy. In these sessions, Khut Vuthiarith, Deputy General Director for Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Cambodia and Mbalie Matiwane, Real Losses Manager for Johannesburg Water, South Africa, explained how their respective organisations have taken steps to reduce leakage through the introduction of the latest techniques and technologies.

The first day was topped off with the Global Water Leakage Evening Gala Dinner. ABB’s Tim Door, along with David Hillyard from WaterAid, led the evening activities. As well as providing an excellent forum for informal networking, the Gala Dinner also helped to raise £1,650 for the Water Aid charity, with various prizes being auctioned off, including iPads, balloon rides, champagne and more.

Day two was chaired by ABB’s Tim Door Global Product Manager- Water EMF, starting with a session on how to choose between Opex and Capex for infrastructure improvement. This session included discussions on using past data to guide future planning and investment decisions and using the latest technology to create truly autonomous water distribution networks.

This session was followed up with a look at the issues relating to the use of plastic piping in water distribution networks, in particular how to prevent leakage through the use of quality polyethylene pipes and joints.

An important aspect of the Global Water leakage Summit is its focus on innovation, both in terms of the application of technology and the creation of working partnerships between water companies and other third parties such as academic institutions.

It was therefore fitting that the event was rounded off with a final session on putting research and innovation into practice. During this session, James Chalmers of ABB explained how variable speed drives can be used to help reduce leakage through the effective control and regulation of pipe pressures. This was followed by case studies highlighting new leakage control methods being used in Italy, presented by speakers from Perugia University, Metropolitana Milanese SpA and the University of Salento.

“Having an event such as this provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and exchange knowledge and experience from some of the world’s leading experts on leakage,” says Tim Door, Global Product Manager – Water EMF for ABB. “With many countries under growing pressure to minimise leakage wherever possible in order to maximise available water supplies, the Global Water Leakage Summit continues to be one of the leading events on the water industry calendar.”

Representatives from water companies and other organisations at the Global Water Leakage Summit 2013