Digital Twins & IoT: Reducing Non-Revenue Water in Utilities

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water network digital twin NRW

Embracing the Future of Water Management with Smart Devices, Acoustic Loggers, and Advanced Pressure Management

Non-revenue water (NRW) is a persistent challenge for water utilities worldwide. Water utilities can significantly save costs and ensure environmental sustainability by optimising resource management and reducing water losses. One groundbreaking technology that’s making waves in the industry is the Digital Twin.

This innovative solution, coupled with smart devices such as sensors that utilise CAT M1 and NB-IoT, is revolutionising municipal water management. This article will explore the emergence of digital twins, their use in monitoring and reducing NRW, and how cutting-edge technology such as acoustic loggers, smart bulk flow meters, and advanced pressure management solutions can transform the water utility sector.

Digital Twins: A Game-Changer for Water Utilities

A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset, process, or system. By creating a digital representation of water utility infrastructure, digital twins enable real-time monitoring, data analysis, and decision-making. This advanced technology helps water utilities to:

  1. Detect leaks and identify vulnerable areas of their network
  2. Optimise asset maintenance and replacement strategies
  3. Monitor and improve water quality
  4. Enhance customer service and billing accuracy
  5. Increase overall operational efficiency

Smart Devices: CAT M1 and NB-IoT Solutions

The rise of smart devices, that use communication protocol such as CAT M1 and NB-IoT, is paving the way for low-cost, efficient data transmission from underground pipelines. These cellular technologies provide long-range connectivity, low power consumption, and high network capacity, making them ideal for IoT applications in water management.

By integrating these smart devices into digital twins, water utilities can now access real-time data from underground pipelines, enhancing their ability to monitor and reduce non-revenue water.

Acoustic Loggers: Digital Ears of the Water Network

Acoustic loggers play a crucial role in detecting leaks and reducing NRW in water supply systems. These devices “listen” to the sounds of water escaping cracks, breaks or pinholes within pipelines and can identify the unique signatures of leaks. When paired with digital twins, acoustic loggers allow water utilities to locate leaks accurately and promptly take corrective action. This early leak detection reduces water losses and minimises the risk of costly infrastructure damage.

We have successfully used NB-IoT Acoustic Noise Loggers, which rely on the physics of leak noise correlation and smart algorithms, to locate and quantify leakage rates.

Smart Bulk Flow Meters: Accurate, Real-Time Data

Smart bulk flow meters are essential for effectively monitoring and managing water supply and demand. These advanced meters provide real-time data on water consumption, enabling utilities to identify unusual usage patterns and detect potential leaks more easily. Integrated with digital twins, smart bulk flow meters offer valuable insights for utilities to optimise their network, improve District Metered Area monitoring, and enhance customer service.

Advanced Pressure Management in Australia: A Key to Reducing NRW

Pressure management is a critical aspect of water utility operations. Utilities can reduce the risk of pipeline bursts and minimise water losses by implementing advanced pressure management techniques.

Digital twins can help water utilities monitor pressure levels throughout their network, allowing them to adjust pressure settings dynamically and optimise system performance. Aqua Analytics can offer various pressure management solutions, including asset inventory assessments, installation, commission and ongoing maintenance. 


Digital twins and smart devices that utilise the CAT M1 and NB-IoT protocols are transforming the water utility sector by offering innovative, low-cost, ways to monitor and reduce non-revenue water.

By embracing these cutting-edge technologies and integrating them with acoustic loggers, smart bulk flow meters, and advanced pressure management, water utilities can significantly improve their operational efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure a more sustainable future for our planet. 

Aqua Analytics is a full-service non-revenue water reduction consultant who can assist with all water loss reduction projects from conception, NRW consulting, water loss field services and smart solutions. Please get in touch with us today to find out how we can help in Australia, Asia, Pacific Islands or New Zealand.

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