SWW Hackathon attendees

South West Water Competition Hackathon Day

The Centre for Water Systems (CWS), University of Exeter and South West Water (SWW) are working closely as part of the new EU H2020 Fiware4Water project to explore opportunities for future digital water solutions. 

In November 2019, SWW and CWS collaborated with the GW4 Water Security Alliance (WSA) to host a competition for GW4 university researchers (from Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) to develop ideas using data analytics to improve the understanding in water consumption demands and anomaly detections in the water network.

Using real time data sets provided by SWW, 15 participants including SWW experts, researchers, and WISE CDT and Stream IDC students were given two weeks in which to work on their ideas and develop tools to analyse water use, working alongside experts from SWW and the GW4 Water Security Alliance.

The winner was announced at a Hackathon event at Exeter Science Park on 27th November 2019. Dr Nans Addor, a computational hydrologist who has recently joined the Geography department at the University of Exeter, came out on top with his machine-learning algorithms.

Excited by his win, Dr Addor said: “This experience was useful – I was able to process and make sense of the high quantity of data produced by SWW water meters every day. To identify patterns of water consumption, I used machine-learning algorithms, which have the potential to help SWW localise leakages and forecast water demand at high temporal and spatial resolution.”

Joshua Pocock, Data Strategy Lead at South West Water said: “For us, the competition evidenced the value of engaging with Universities, sharing our data and sourcing solutions from expectant, fresh thinkers. All the participants tackled our challenge statement in their own way and although there could only be one winner, all the entries have great potential. I also hope the competition demonstrated that the Water Industry has big challenges like reaching zero leakage and halving water abstractions so there’s lots of opportunities to make an impact. A big congratulations to our winning entry; Nans Addor and thanks to everyone who made the event a success.”

Date: 13 March 2020

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