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Trevor Pearman

Geospatial data representation for modelling and monitoring.


Project title

Water Assets and Networks: geospatial data representation for modelling and monitoring (STREAM EngD with Northumbrian Water Group)


Project description

Water utility companies need to operate efficient and resilient water and wastewater networks. Their customers expect continuous service from these networks. They expect minimal or no service failures.

Companies often use models and digital representations of the networks to operate the systems as efficiently as possible. These models help with understanding asset vulnerability. They help to assess the risks and impacts that may affect water supply and wastewater collection networks.

But a diverse range of data collection and asset data systems often exists within water utility companies. Modelling is often hindered by a lack of appropriate data integration and interoperability across these systems.

This project takes inspiration from the increasing interest in smart cities. It will use common data standards and data formats. It will leverage the power of new database technologies to develop a new type of geospatial database. The database will integrate the connected networks of the water distribution and wastewater collection systems with the near real time performance and monitoring data available for them. The data describes their behaviours across temporal scales, from minutes to days through to seasons and yearly.

Such a database would have the potential to provide the latest available performance data for hydraulic modelling. It would support optimal decision making for incident support and day to day operation of these systems. This capability is an essential stage in the development of water supply and wastewater collection network ‘digital twins’.