Scaling Smart – Anglian Water’s Journey in Smart Water Systems and Collaborative Innovation: WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024 Retrospective


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Unlocking the potential of smart water systems has been a transformative journey for Anglian Water, one marked by innovation, collaboration and overcoming challenges. Head of Smart Water, Andy Smith, and Strategic Innovation Lead, Fionn Boyle, joined us at WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024 to take us through Anglian Water’s evolution over the last three Asset Management Periods (AMPs).

Their opening keynote provided an overview of Anglian Water’s path to developing smart water systems, delving into platforms such as the Water Innovation Network and the Shop Window which have been deployed to foster innovation successfully.

The duo spotlighted some of the most ground breaking solutions that have emerged from this journey, showcasing the pivotal roles played by key universities and suppliers in supporting Anglian Water’s endeavours. Moreover, they shed light on how the company has nurtured true collaborative partnerships to propel progress.

Scaling innovative solutions isn’t without its challenges, and Andy and Fionn candidly discussed the obstacles they’ve had to surmount along the way and the strategies employed to overcome them.

Over the last few years Anglian Water’s advancement has been the support of initiatives like the OFWAT Innovation Fund, which has not only bolstered Anglian Water but also catalysed progress across the UK water industry.

Andy and Fionn also emphasised the significance of leveraging international relationships to drive innovation forward. They articulated in their presentation why an international perspective is indispensable for innovation and how Anglian Water has harnessed global partnerships to develop cutting-edge solutions.

Summary of presentation highlights:

  • What is a Smart Water System?
  • Challenges that Anglian Water and other water firms are facing in the media;
  • Macro challenges and the need for resilience;
  • The unique challenges in Eastern England;
  • Purpose and commitment to “love every drop”;
  • Enabling social and environmental prosperity in Eastern England – 25-year strategic direction statement; £9 billion plan; Pledges by 2030 – e.g. support all customers at risk of water poverty, double investment in the environment to enable nature recovery, use nature-based solutions to create substantial treatment wetlands and 52 new sustainable urban drainage schemes, achieve 70% reduction in capital carbon, reduce per capita consumption to 124 litres per person per day, reduce leakage to new industry-leading levels, invest to accommodate housing growth, plan for 2 new reservoirs, increase capacity of waste water network to reduce pollution risk and spills, renew 695km of vulnerable pipes to futureproof water mains and sewers against climate impacts, launch a new medical needs discount etc;
  • How do we meet these challenges?

  • Wider sector collaboration;
  • Anglian Water’s AMP5-AMP7 Smart Water Journey – e.g. pressure management pilots, optimised water networks, AI and machine learning trials, condition based monitoring, climate vulnerability study, WISPA model and predictive tool etc;
  • AMP5-AMP7 impact – e.g. number of interruptions to supply events has more than halved, 70% reduction in scoring interruptions to supply events, number of water quality contacts has dropped by 12.5%;
  • Safe Smart Systems project – Unlocking the steps to achieving autonomous control in water systems; Objectives – Develop a future-oriented, self-regulating and secure AI decision engine, accelerate development of Safe Smart System/a systems based approach, enable scale across the UK;
  • Shop Window – An Enterprise Incubator Framework;
  • Bringing the outside in with regional, national and global partnerships – e.g. WIN (water innovation network), Spring, Waterstart etc.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Greencoat Place Conference Centre, London, for the live in-person event on April 3rd, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Andy and Fionn’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, innovation, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers, environmental managers, policy makers and planners from UK water companies and utilities, wastewater and sewer operators, lead local flood authorities (unitary authorities and county councils), city/borough/metropolitan councils, district councils, combined authorities, highways authorities, prime contractors, general insurers, large water consumers, central governmental and regulatory bodies (e.g. Defra, DCLG, Ofwat, Environment Agency, DWI, SEPA), independent industry and consumer organisations (e.g. Water UK, CCW) etc.

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WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how deploying the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices can help manage the distribution and management of water resources, and also offers utilities an opportunity to improve efficiency and customer service whilst reducing water scarcity and supporting the drive towards a net zero future.


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