Data analysis software to help households save water

Wednesday, 31 January, 2018

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The University of Western Australia, the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and the WA Water Corporation have collaborated on a research and development project to trial automated data analysis software to help save water. The software uses hourly water use data supplied by smart water meters to identify irrigation habits, allowing water utilities to tailor engagement with individual customers.

Taken from 3557 residential households in a Western Australian town, the hourly water use data was used to develop an analysis of irrigation habits. This led to the development of an algorithm, which was able to identify the irrigation habits of 76% of the trial households. Identified habits were then categorised based on the frequency and volume of water used by each household.

Water utilities can use this information to work with customers when irrigation systems are using excessive amounts of water, in case there is a leak or the system has been set incorrectly. By detecting inefficient irrigation practices, this allows customers to save water — and money on their next bill.

The software is based on the CRCWSC’s broader C5.1 project. Project Leader Rachel Cardell-Oliver and her colleagues have determined that this type of emerging technology could be used more widely across the water industry in the coming years.

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