Water service providers (WSPs) in the UK have statutory obligations to supply drinking water to all customers that complies with increasingly stringent water quality regulations and minimum flow and pressure criteria. At the same time, the industry is required by regulators and investors to demonstrate increasing operational efficiency and to meet a wide range of performance criteria that are expected to improve year-on-year. Most WSPs have an ideal for improving the operation of their water supply systems based on increased knowledge and understanding of their assets and a shift to proactive management followed by steadily increasing degrees of system monitoring, automation and optimisation. The fundamental mission is, however, to ensure security of supply, with no interruptions and water quality of the highest standard at the tap. Unfortunately, advanced technologies required to fully understand, manage and automate water supply system operation either do not yet exist, are only partially evolved, or have not yet been reliably proven for live water distribution systems. It is this deficiency that the project NEPTUNE seeks to address by carrying out research into 3 main areas; these are: data and knowledge management; pressure management (including energy management); and the associated complex decision support systems on which to base interventions. The 3-year project started in April of 2007 and has already resulted in a number of research findings under the three main research priority areas (RPA). The paper summarises in greater detail the overall project objectives, the RPA activities and the areas of research innovation that are being undertaken in this major, UK collaborative study.
|Project Neptune: Improved Operation of Water Distribution Networks 2008
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