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Addressing the leakage imperative: Black & Veatch responds with new hire to lead digital transformation of leakage management services

Water companies in England and Wales have to deliver, on average, a 17 per cent cut in leakage by 2025. Current levels of leakage, 3.16 billion litres per day in 2018/19, are deemed unacceptable by Ofwat. Black & Veatch has created a new role: Leakage Services Manager, and appointed Stuart White, to help water companies meet the regulator’s expectations. “For the companies meeting current leakage targets, a 15 per cent reduction by 2025 still represents a challenge; for those struggling with current targets, Ofwat’s new leakage figures will be daunting,” according to Mark Malcolm, Black & Veatch Europe’s director of delivery. “Across the board, success will require new approaches – driven by digital transformation; this is White’s forte,” he added.

White joins Black & Veatch from Severn Trent Water where he has served as the utility’s Transformation Leakage Project Manager, responsible for implementing a portfolio of efficiency initiatives using enhanced monitoring, analytics and prioritised-decision making tools. Prior to Severn Trent, White served with a number of technology companies developing monitoring, analytics and decision-making tools - and software as a service offerings - for water companies. He will be part of Black & Veatch’s newly formed Smart Maintenance team, based in the company’s Chester office.

“Leakage risks becoming a stick with which to beat our industry. To foster long-term sustainability and confidence it is increasingly important to be equipped to understand, then optimise, both current performance and future potential of water networks. New strategies underpinned by digital technologies will help us make the necessary strides,” commented White.

To provide greater resilience and sustainability - in light of increasing demand, aging water distribution pipeline assets, changing patterns of rainfall and population density - previously acceptable levels of leakage are being reviewed. To help water companies develop ‘healthy,’ resilient water networks, and reduce losses, White will be combining Black & Veatch’s programme management, logistics, delivery and analytics expertise with leading-edge tools such as SERENE – developed with technology partner Inflowmatix – to provide near time network insights through a district metered area (DMA) Health Index assessment.

The interface between clients’ asset monitoring and control networks, and tools like SERENE will be managed using Black & Veatch’s ECO-X digital ecosystem environment. ECO-X facilitates the seamless interaction of common water industry tools, utilities’ enterprise IT systems and Black & Veatch’s own AI-enabled data gathering, analytics and management tools.

Click here to download a photo of Stuart White.

Editor’s Notes:

  • In February 2019 Black & Veatch EMAGIN to support UK water companies with advanced operational intelligence, allied to hands-on asset management and engineering expertise.
  • In March 2019 Black & Veatch launched a Smart Maintenance business to combine established technology-driven maintenance methodologies and smarter instrumentation, control and automation technology.
  • In June 2019 Black & Veatch announced a strategic partnership with Inflowmatix to enhance clients’ access to
  • ECO-X is Black & Veatch’s digital performance intelligence ecosystem. It facilitates integration of the company’s digital technology products and services – including those below – with clients’ enterprise IT systems and third-party digital tools:
    • HARVI, the artificial intelligence provided by Black & Veatch’s strategic partner EMAGIN, provides predictive asset performance and intelligent operational decision support.
    • HELIX is Black & Veatch’s digital twin platform which is able to generate across the asset base.
    • Serene is our unique digitally enabled water supply network health check, monitoring and optimisation tool.
    • Totex Efficiency Diagnostics (TED), supports effective application of a water company’s TOTEX solutions hierarchy.
    • TRAC provides single use or dynamic assessment of asset data sets with targeted improvement analysis.

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