Demo case #2: Improving the Water Supply System: proactive management, leakage reduction and water quality monitoring (France)

Context: Cannes is located in the south east of France, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and close to the border with Italy. It is a touristic city known for its sunny climate, beaches and its famous Film Festival. SICASIL (Syndicat InterCommunal de l'Eau Potable du Bassin Cannois) is in charge of managing the drinking water supply service in eight municipalities, including Cannes. SICASIL has entrusted SUEZ Eau France with delivering the public drinking water service on its territory, within the framework of a contract (from 1993 to 2023). The Cannes basin has a population of 181,000 permanent inhabitants but reaches 500,000 during the peak season – making water management in this water scarce environment very challenging. The total production capacity of the water resources is 88 hm3. The total production capacity of the eight drinking water treatment plants reaches 31 hm3, with an average quantity supplied currently 26 hm3 per year. The supply network is 987 km long and provides water to customers through 86,303 water meters. In 2017, SUEZ Eau France proposed to SICASIL to carry out a targeted deployment test of AMR (Automated Meter Reading) on two DMA (District Metered Area): in Cannes (34 clients - 69% of consumption) and Mougins (142 clients - 43% of consumption).

Challenges : Efficient and proactive water management is a key challenge for the Cannes basin, given that during summer, the water resources production capacity decreases and can reach 204,000 m3/day in a very dry year (e.g. 1990), instead of 242,000 m3/day. In the summer of 2016, an extreme rainfall deficit resulted in State services activating the drought action plan, in the "vigilance" phase, for the entire department of the Alpes-Maritimes. To be more proactive, SICASIL is interested to identify available but unused water volumes from existing water resources. On the other hand, SICASIL aims to improve its monitoring and medium-term forecast of water demand (over several days) to define effective water management strategies limiting the impact on scarce water resources and respecting operation constraints. However, forecasting the water demand is not enough. Decreasing it, by leakage reduction is a key imperative. For the past ten years, SICASIL has installed numerous flow measurement points to identify undetectable leaks. In 2017, SICASIL has invested another 1.2 M€ to equip its drinking water supply network with complementary measurements for sectors greater than 30 km, including AMR devices with real-time monitoring capabilities. SICASIL now wants to integrate its supply monitoring infrastructure and systems, and use them more efficiently to identify and fix leaks as early as possible while getting a better understanding of and handle on the evolution of demand.

The quality of the water distributed is also an important challenge for SICASIL Parameters like temperature and electrical conductivity are giving information about water age and different sources of the water inside the network especially when it is fed by different waterworks. In practice, however, the measurement of water quality in the supply network is rare due to the high investment costs on the one hand and maintenance effort for the sensors on the other hand.

Role of Fiware4Water:  Some  data  (raw  data  and  calculated  values)  from  the  water  supply monitoring systems will be made accessible through FIWARE to Fiware4Water partners to develop modules for demand forecasting and leakage detection improvement. These modules will, for example, (i) forecast water demand based on historical data sets (and new real time values) considering operating constraints (ii) make leak detections more reliable by removing false positives detections and (iii) interpret leak detections by trying to assess possible causes of leakage (e.g. a company whose pipe laying conditions are not good, nature of certain soils which corrode the pipes more because of important electrochemical phenomena, etc.). Different information sources will provide data through FIWARE connectors: (i) AQUACALC® is a real time software, published by 3S, it is a data historian and a data manager. An IT application based on this software is already deployed for the SICASIL water supply system. It stores numerous and various measurements from the system and a large number of indicators are also computed. (ii) AQUADVANCED® Water Networks is a real time software, published by 3S, dedicated to leak detection and network efficiency improvement. An IT application based on this software is already deployed for   the SICASIL water supply system. It uses data from DMA (flow meters) and AMR (water consumptions) collected from the SICASIL supply network. (iii)  AQUADVANCED®  Control  is  a  real  time  software,  published by 3S, aiming at managing / controlling in real time the drinking water supply system. An IT application based on this software will be deployed for the SICASIL water supply system to improve the water demand forecast.  The  use case is also supplemented by water quality monitoring that gives additional information about process within the supply network. The very innovative multi-parameter probe (PROTEUS) will be installed and full-scale tested on the SICASIL network. This probe was developed in the framework of the PROTEUS European project (H2020-ICT-2014) (Figure to the left). Its measuring instruments are based on carbon nanotubes and microfluidic technologies. It measures the parameters chloride, active chlorine, pH, flow, pressure, conductivity, temperature and others. This is a small, low energy and low-cost probe (500€, about 20 times cheaper than market products).

The reliability of this probe needs to be evaluated under real operating conditions and will be done by TZW. For this purpose, the probe will be tested in a physical model of a drinking water supply network at TZW as well as under practical conditions in the real SICASIL water supply system (with the aims of determining selectivity, sensitivity, robustness, maintenance effort). For this purpose, TZW will use a set of reference sensors as well as its own laboratory capacities to validate sensor readings in regular sampling campaigns. AQUADVANCED® Quality Monitoring is a real time software, published by 3S, aiming at monitoring in real time the water quality of the drinking water supply system. One of its module automatically detects abnormal water quality events. The measurements provided by the very innovative PROTEUS probe will be displayed and processed by AQUADVANCED® Quality Monitoring. 3S will develop IT connectors so that the aforementioned software can interface with FIWARE. Data from external legacy software, made available in the FIWARE platform, can be used by the Fiware4Water consortium to develop new IT applications. Certain results produced by FIWARE services or modules will be imported to 3S software and therefore be accessible by SUEZ Eau France. The ability to connect external legacy software is an extremely important feature because all of the water stakeholders already own and use many software; example for a network manager: SCADA, hydraulic model, GIS, etc. It is therefore important that each water actor can sustain their IT assets, their financial investment and the time spent mastering their IT tools.

Finally, FIWARE will allow different water stakeholders, private operators, IT solution providers, local authorities and others to share information in a standardized way and improve their knowledge on the water supply system and water uses that impact resources at the catchment scale in this water scarce area of France.

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