NSSN announces $3 million project to deliver smart sensing solutions to the water industry

The NSW Smart Sensing Network is leading an innovative project bringing together five research universities with water utilities across Australia to apply emerging technologies to proactively identify leaks and potential failures in water supply networks.

The $3 million project is funded by Sydney Water, along with other water utilities: Hunter Water, SA Water, Melbourne Water, Intelligent Water Networks (Victoria), Queensland Urban Utilities and the NSW state government.

The collaboration draws upon the research strengths of three NSW universities UTS, UNSW and the University of Newcastle, as well as ANU in Canberra, to devise cutting-edge smart sensing technologies to a multi-billion dollar global problem. 

 With over 22,000km of underground pipes across Sydney, ensuring the integrity of pipe infrastructure and preventing leakage in the system is a top priority for water utilities like Sydney Water.

Paul Higham, Head of Service Planning and Asset Strategy at Sydney Water said, “This is a great opportunity for Sydney Water and the Australian Utility partners to improve our services to our customers by being proactive with future smart utility networks”.

The program incorporates four innovative projects covering areas like quantum sensing, acoustic sensing, pressure transient sensing and data analytics. It builds upon world-leading research to deliver new insights, with an aim to having new technologies in the ground in the near future.

Smart sensing is considered as the key solution to detecting problems underground. As cities around the world develop, we face increasing challenges of expanding urban populations and ageing pipe infrastructure. Any solution that can accurately predict and locate leaks and breaks in water mains while simultaneously minimising the need to dig and replace large tracts of pipe will ultimately lead to better service to customers, reduce loss of water, maintain vital water supply and lower service costs for water utilities.

The program is already attracting the interest of other water utilities around Australia and the world.  

Inka-Maria Bane