Pilot project for smart water networks

EU funding smart water grid

project is funded by the EU (smart water grid).

Funding by the European Union and the ERDF: "Smart Water Grid

Narz systems GmbH & Co. KG located in Herbstein, is a medium-sized company for IT and automation solutions. Since 2011, the company has its own modern software platform "audako", among other things, for the monitoring of infrastructure facilities. Narz systems already operates information technology networks for over 100 supply and disposal companies - of all sizes.

The increasing drought shows the water suppliers, network operators and in some places already the users in the population that the flowing water from the tap, can be partly less natural, than the current from the plug socket. The drinking water suppliers have problems with their extraction plants as well as their distribution networks with the buffers available in them and the drinking water quality with the weather conditions becoming warmer and warmer. Therefore, narz systems firmly believes that there is a need for a smart grid for water and this is exactly where the company comes in with the development project "smart Water Grid", which is carried out in cooperation with partners and a project advisory board.

The development within the project takes place on the basis of the existing solution audako as an evolutionary further development. audako already has functionalities that benefit the project: High-performance storage for time series, connection of remote control technology according to e.g. IEC standards and a web-based interface with dashboards, schemas, simple evaluations and reports. In the project, existing technologies from the "new" fields of Big Data, Web 4.0, IoT (Internet of Things) are combined with those from the "tried and tested" fields of automation, telecontrol and process control technology in order to generate considerable customer benefits through this combination. With the "Smart Water Grid" project, narz systems goes significantly further than the state of the art, which often only covers the neuralgic points of a network, as all components of a water network are integrated. From the deep well, which is already equipped with monitoring technology in many places, to the customer meter - which is not yet recorded today - all data flows into a central platform in order to map a digital twin of the supply network.

The digital twin is the digital representation of the water network, consisting of data and models. It is the digital twin that enables the use of simulations and algorithms to derive forecasts for the future and to detect anomalies. Modern approaches from the field of machine learning are used to automatically detect leaks or pipe bursts. This is particularly interesting for a utility's local networks.

Information security and data protection are very important aspects in the face of ever-increasing numbers of cyber attacks on public infrastructures and the recording of household meters (keyword: usage profile). The research project is now entering its final phase. The "Smart Water Grid" project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2022, which will mark the end of a two-year period. With the targeted development status at the end of the project, a functional software solution will be available that customers can later use either from the cloud or on their own systems, as well as extensive documentation on the resulting solution and a best-practice example gained through a pilot project at a customer for operators and interested parties. The best practice is then intended to make it easier for other operators to gradually start using the solution that has been created. 

"With a digital twin of the grid and machine learning (components of the development of the "Smart Water Grid"), we want to help operators reduce losses and optimize grid utilization, reported Sebastian Narz (Managing Director at narz systems) optimistically. By reducing CO2 emissions and water losses, the project will make a significant contribution to sustainable development if targets are met. For example, reducing water losses by 2% in a supply area of about 25,000 inhabitants can save about 22,500 m³ of water per year, which would then either require 20,250 kWh less energy or save 9.6t of CO2 emissions (treatment and pumping), or an additional 166 3-person households could be supplied.

The development of a "Smart Water Grid" with sustainability factor also convinced the European Union to support the project with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, which makes narz systems particularly happy. Public funding makes it possible to implement this development within the estimated time frame and to the planned extent. 


Contact: narz systems GmbH & Co. KG, Herbstein, Regina Liedsinger, 

Tel. 06643 91833-14, r.liedsinger@narz.net, www.narz.net 


Published in: DER WASSERMEISTER Issue 1/2022