Anglian Water requested a meeting with the Southern Nevada Water Authority to share knowledge and best practices around reservoir management. Specific topics (and the corresponding time stamp in the video) included:
Online Water Quality Monitoring Efforts (9:55) – presented by Todd Tietjen, Ph.D, Regional Water Quality/Research & Development, SNWA
Remote Inspections (34:47) – presented by Ryan Benner, Sr. Maintenance Engineer, Asset Mgmt Division, LVVWD/SNWA
Reservoir Repair and Maintenance (53:07) – presented by Matthew Brems, Manager, Maintenance Engineering, LVVWD/SNWA
Water Quality Monitoring in the Distribution System (1:08) – presented by Mao Fang, Sr. Civil Engineer, LVVWD/SNWA
Pipeline Risk Assessment for Capital Improvement Planning (2:02) – presented by Roger Jordan, Sr. Civil Engineer, LVVWD/SNWA
Thank you to everyone that participated and to Mike Dishari, Director of Infrastructure Management at LVVWD/SNWA, for coordinating the content. Please send questions to email@example.com or feel free to contact a participant directly.
In Dec. 2021, WaterStart hosted its third webinar as part of CHANNELS Connect. CHANNELS Connect is a member’s-only webinar series intended to highlight applications of innovation across the global water sector. These signature events are uniquely designed to encourage and facilitate knowledge-sharing among WaterStart’s membership network.
To be inclusive of our global membership’s time zones, an AM webinar and a PM webinar were hosted. Each recording, in their entirety, can be found below.
Ian Olson, Senior Director of Global Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation (U.S.A)
Albert Cho, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Digital Officer, Xylem, Inc. (U.S.A)
Richard Buckingham, Climate Change & Carbon Manager, Anglian Water (United Kingdom)
With net zero initiatives at the forefront of major planning efforts of state and local agencies, solution providers, and major corporations, WaterStart organized a panel that included representation from varying organizations intersected by water management. The discussion centered on the challenges each of these organizations face as they begin to operationalize their net zero goals- culturally, among their customers, and among the public, in general.
Priority Pitch- Center for Smart Infrastructure
Clifford Chan, General Manager, East Bay Municipal Utility District (U.S.A.)
Professor Kenichi Soga, Donald H. McLaughlin Professor, University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A)
The presenters highlight how challenges associated with aging infrastructure, earthquakes, and climate change press the need for adaptable infrastructure and whole-life infrastructure sensing. The vision for the Center is to provide innovative solutions to realize adaptable infrastructure systems with “intelligence for life.” Through the Center, they are setting out to create an infrastructure innovation ecosystem inclusive of all segments of the water industry to address these challenges.
Pilot Pitch- Automated CCTV Defect Identification
Sean Rennie, Infrastructure Maintenance Program Manager, Anglian Water (United Kingdom)
Amanda Siqueira, CEO & Co-founder, VAPAR (United Kingdom)
Anglian Water and VAPAR highlight their successful 10-week pilot to remotely process 10km of sewer CCTV inspection footage. The discussion provides an overview of the issue Anglian was facing, how they sourced the solution, and the positive outcomes of the project, which include digitizing over 2000 pipe features and defects in one-fifth the time of manual inspections. The webinar included perspectives from both Anglian and VAPAR. To learn more about VAPAR and this specific project with Anglian, please consider reviewing the VAPAR case study/pilot included on CHANNELS, under Pilots.
Recordings to both webinars in their entirety can be found here-
Immersive technology refers to technology, including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (XR), that attempts to emulate a physical world through a digital or simulated world, thereby creating a sense of immersion.
The Queensland XR Hub fundamental goal is to expand the emerging Immersive Technologies (XR) capability within Queensland, Australia and Internationally; educate industry; and support initiatives that increase investment in Immersive Technology businesses.
WaterStart recognises the potential of Immersive Technologies in the age of digital transformation. As such, we partnered with the Queensland XR Hub to explore learnings and opportunities of XR technologies in Water. On August 25, 2021, we brought together our members, industry associations, academics and technology providers to:
Evaluate the current and future applications of XR technologies in the industry.
Discuss barriers to adoption and potential pathways to overcome them.
Identify specific areas within industry/business that could most benefit from emerging XR technologies.
Showcase projects from our members that successfully utilized XR capabilities with realised business benefits.
Showcase emerging technology companies through a pitch event.
This hybrid event was designed to be collaborative and thought provoking. It served as an opportunity to expose valuable business insights and promote cross-industry learning, where possible.
00:00:00 – Introductions
00:13:00 – Keynote Presentation
Barbara-Anne Bensted, Partner Digital Delta, KPMG
00:32:00 – Industry Panel Discussion
Ryan Amor, CT Business Partner, Seqwater
Simon Harrington, Enterprise Architect, Urban Utilities
Ivan Beirne, Head of Asset Management, Unitywater
1:25:00 – Case Study Presentations
Michelle Bordignon, Team Leader, Strategic Engagement, Seqwater and Gavin Winter, Manager, Visualisation and eResearch, QUT(1:30:00)
Jason Dwyer, Research and Development Business Partner at Urban Utilities and Lex Van Cooten, VT Specialist, Real Serious Games(1:46:00)
Ivan Beirne, Head of Asset Management, Unitywater(2:00:00)
2:12:00 – Technology Pitches
Doug Hastings, Founder & CEO, Hindsite (2:12:00)
William Pagnon, CEO, Freelance Robotics(2:23:00)
WaterStart would like to pay a special thanks to all of the speakers for their time and valuable insights!
In April 2021, WaterStart hosted its second installment of CHANNELS Connect, our webinar series dedicated to the showcase of innovation in the global Water Industry. The theme of this latest installment was, ‘Infrastructure of Innovation’, whereby participants (WaterStart Members, Technology Portfolio Companies, Sponsors and Collaborators) were provided with the opportunity to engage with their peers to discuss the barriers their organizations face when it comes to structuring innovation activities. Participants met via Zoom and were offered the opportunity to rotate among three breakout discussions. The breakout discussions in this webinar were:
Procurement: a necessary enabler?
External Engagement: ten heads are better than one.
Funding Innovation: the financial dilemma
The full recording of the webinar can be found below. Breakout rooms were not recorded to encourage open and honest dialogue.
Presenter: David Johnson Deputy General Manager, Operations (SNWA and LVVWD)
In his presentation, David spoke about the challenges of effectively managing his districts’ water supply and demand in a drought-driven, exponentially growing, city. To help face these challenges his organization(s) developed a new framework exclusively for innovation that relies on collaboration among both internal and external stakeholders to maximize the likelihood of technology adoption throughout all levels of their organization.
WaterStart facilitated three breakout rooms, each targeting a different challenge pertaining to the enablement of innovation. Participants rotated between three of the rooms, each rotation lasting 25-minutes. Each room was moderated by a different Member Lead, elected for their experience in the subject matter. Participants were encouraged to engage with their peers, exchange lessons and insights through an open and honest discussion. For this reason, breakout sessions were not recorded. The following are key themes discovered in each breakout room:
Procurement: a necessary enabler?
Moderator: Colin Chapman, Innovation Research & Development Manager, Urban Utilities
Procurement is not only an enabler but is essential for delivery and adoption
Successful and collaborative procurement enables you to remove roadblocks as shown in the COVID-19 pandemic where fast adaptation to changing circumstances was required and involving procurement early in the process enabled innovation to occur
Education, ethics and integrity is key and trusting the supply community will ensure a high-quality procurement value chain
Funding Innovation: the financial dilemma
Moderator: Andrew Watkinson, Manager Strategy, Research & Performance, Seqwater
Anything goes when it comes to funding, jump on opportunities when they arise.
Try to find funding attached to another project
Get the value from already allocated funds
Trial and Error is essential to funding and knowing when to cut losses if needed.
Don’t penalize employees if the new technology isn’t successful. This may discourage people from advocating for innovation.
Engagement in a funding sense is important, gaining outside information offers funding opportunities through partnerships and engagements
Leveraging smaller funding into bigger investments leads to improvement on return of investments.
External Engagement: ten heads are better than one
Moderated by: Wigs Mendoza and Peggy Vogt, Innovation Tech Scouts, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)
External engagement leads to awareness of innovation that already exists for specific problems.
External engagement builds resilience and trust among the workforce.
Empowers diversity and inclusions
Friction may lead to new learning / encourages novel perspectives.
Peer to peer communities and relationship development are key to external engagement, nurturing an ecosystem of like-minded individuals with common goals and values.
Virtual technologies have been beneficial to fostering relationships. This has proven especially valuable over the past year (2020-21) in building trusted partnerships with international organizations.
Portfolio Presentation – Klir
Presenter: David Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Klir
Managing a utility is difficult and contextual for the role of innovation. In his presentation, David highlighted the challenges of navigating innovation from a technology company’s perspective. Our members were left with sound advice for finding the right innovator for their companies to lead to future success with their innovation strategy from a company that is already in WaterStart’s portfolio. Thank you to Klir for being our Premiere Sponsor! Learn more about Klir at https://klir.io/ and learn more about their pilot at SNWA on CHANNELS, under Pilots.
Panel Discussion – Breakout Summary
Moderator: Andrew Kingsford, General Manager, WaterStart (AUS)
This panel discussion included brief overviews of each breakout room. Andrew presented questions to the moderators and audience about the nature of the problem of how organizations are dealing with procurement, funding, and external engagement in the context of delivering innovation.
Question: What was the biggest challenge(s) identified in their sessions?
Streamlining procurement and ensuring it is understood across the organization is crucial to any future project’s success.
Broad skill sets are often overlooked – don’t underestimate what the procurement team can bring to the table.
We are in a dynamic, changing environment. Innovative procurement can involve the right people at the right time. Have the procurement team as your trusted advisors in innovation.
Innovation is no longer a luxury, it is essential as a part of the core business.
Finding the time to innovate and get involved in the process is often difficult but must be prioritized.
The level of risk an organization is prepared to take can sometimes determine the level of innovation that is possible based on prevalent trending risks and organisational culture.
Therefore funding innovation must take into account the benefits of solutions that solve problems. Barriers such as legacy standards, culture and existing funding models must be dealt with when assessing innovation requirements and implementing solutions that will take your organisation to the next level.
External Engagement is currently not a great practice of utilities. Organizations are still learning and realizing the full potential of investing time in external engagement.
Top executives are able to engage more easily than people at lower levels.
Bringing in external engagers helps bring down internal barriers through diversified knowledge sources.
Additional key takeaways from the breakout rooms are summarized in the below video.
In Dec. 2020, WaterStart hosted its first webinar as part of CHANNELS Connect. CHANNELS Connect is a new, member’s-only, webinar series intended to highlight applications of innovation across the global water sector. These signature events are uniquely designed to encourage and facilitate knowledge-sharing among WaterStart’s membership network.
To be inclusive of our global membership’s time zones, an AM webinar and a PM webinar were hosted. Each recording can be found here-
The webinar opened with a pandemic perspective from three water utilities across three continents. Presenters included:
Andy Gebhardt, Director of Operations & Water Quality, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (Nevada, USA)
James Edmondson, Organizational Resilience Review Lead, Anglian Water (United Kingdom)
Luke Sawtell, Business Resilience Manager, Urban Utilities (Queensland, AUS)
The panel discussion included lessons learned related to workforce management and scenario planning, the tools adopted to navigate the pandemic, financial impacts, and general updates, including workforce morale, since the member meetings that WaterStart hosted at the onset of the pandemic. For more information, consider also reviewing the Pandemic Diaries summaries.
Priority Pitch- Smart Water Networks
Doa Ross, Deputy General Manager, Engineering, Southern Nevada Water Authority & Las Vegas Valley Water District (Nevada, USA)
Doa discussed SNWA and LVVWD’s initiative in the development and implementation of a smart water network. The smart water network they are seeking to build will integrate disparate products, solutions, and systems to enable staff to remotely and continuously monitor and diagnose problems, predict, prioritize and manage maintenance issues and use data to optimize all aspects of the water distribution network. Doa highlighted the challenges in narrowing down the specific priorities around a smart water network, their approach for sourcing a solution, and the metrics for defining success.
Pilot Pitch- Analyzing & Programming Capital Projects
Michael Thomas, Capital Program Management Unit Manager, Engineering, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) (California, USA)
Kristy Neckowicz, President, InVizion LLC
The results of the InVizion pilot were showcased and included perspectives from the adopter and the solution provider. The value proposition, solution, and return on investment were highlighted in this joint presentation. To learn more about InVizion and this specific project with MWD, please consider reviewing the InVizion case study/pilot included on CHANNELS.
WaterStart?s founding utility and first international utility shared insights on the application of innovation across the water sector and how innovation can be made more accessible and applied globally.
Dave Johnson, Deputy General Manager Engineering & Operations, Las Vegas Valley Water District & Southern Nevada Water Authority
Louise Dudley, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Utilities
Member Technology Priority Pitches
WaterStart Members joined us on stage to present specific technology priorities that have been challenging in sourcing a solution. Each presenter describes the background of the need for their organization, the challenges they?ve faced in finding a solution, and the performance indicators critical to defining success. Identifying shared priorities and creating channels for knowledge sharing across the sector will ultimately lead to an uptake in deploying potential solutions.
Challenges and Opportunities for Cooling Towers in Las Vegas – Southern Nevada Water Authority
Critical Spares: Managing Operational Challenges – Truckee Meadows Water
Flow Meter Challenges – Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Monitoring and Cleaning Trunk Main Networks – Urban Utilities
Pilot Technology Case Studies
Four recent pilot case studies presented their process and findings in a competitive showcase of innovative technologies getting a headstart through WaterStart. Hear the perspectives from the asset owner and solution providers on challenges, value propositions, and measuring the return on investment.
SNWA and LVVWD Increases Efficiency with Permitting Management Software – Klir and Southern Nevada Water Authority
An Efficient and Scalable Solution for Treating Nitrate in Groundwater – Carollo Engineers, Inc. and Truckee Meadows Water Authority
Breaking Down the Complexities of Water Use within Large Commercial Properties – APANA and MGM Resorts International
Inspection of Inaccessible Assets – Abyss Solutions and Urban Utilities
Channels Platform Overview
Case Study Award Winner, WeWork Sponsorship Announcement and Closing Remarks