Smart Water Magazine
Connecting Waterpeople

You are here

NSW Government launches AI innovative water usage study in regional areas

  • NSW Government launches AI innovative water usage study in regional areas

About the entity

Themes

The New South Wales Government is intensifying efforts to enhance water efficiency in regional areas by closely examining household water usage patterns, according to a recent press release. A pioneering trial, supported by an investment of $163,500, will deploy smart meters and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology in Ballina, Bathurst, Dubbo, and the Murray River Council area over the next six months.

The study, spearheaded by Griffith University, utilises its AI software program, Autoflow, to monitor and analyse water consumption in homes. This innovative approach will provide detailed insights into water usage, identifying how many litres are used for specific activities such as flushing toilets or turning on taps.

Autoflow leverages existing knowledge from previous water usage studies to interpret data from smart meters, categorising it into various household activities. These insights are expected to significantly enhance water management decisions by the government and local water utilities, particularly during droughts and periods of high demand.

This marks the first instance of employing AI technology for such a study in regional NSW, aiming to furnish communities with crucial information to better plan and manage their water resources.

Ballina, Bathurst, Dubbo, and the Murray River Council were selected for the trial due to their existing smart meter installations, representing a diverse cross-section of regional NSW, from the southern, central, and western inland to the coast.

Traditional water meters, which require manual reading every few months, offer limited understanding of water use. In contrast, smart meters are digital devices that can transmit data remotely to local water utilities, providing real-time insights into water consumption.

This marks the first instance of employing AI technology for such a study in regional NSW, aiming to furnish communities with crucial information to better plan and manage their water resources

The project, administered by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water through its NSW Water Efficiency Program, is currently underway, with results anticipated later this year.

Ashraf El-Sherbini, Executive Director of Operations Resilience at the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, highlighted the significance of the study:

“If someone asked you how much water you use every day to shower, brush your teeth, fill up your water bottle or boil the kettle, most people wouldn’t know,” Ashraf El-Sherbini said. “This study will bring smart meters and AI technology together to help us understand exactly how much water is being used in regional homes and for what purposes.”

El-Sherbini added that understanding supply and demand trends will enable better decision-making regarding water management in regional NSW, including minimizing usage, implementing water restrictions, upgrading infrastructure, and optimizing water resources.

Professor Rodney Stewart from Griffith University's School of Engineering & Built Environment praised the AI software model:

“Our innovative Artificial Intelligence software model has been created using existing water data and various AI techniques to identify usage trends and patterns that are captured on the smart meter. The software will then harvest this information and categorise it into different residential activities from flushing a toilet to running a bath and watering the garden."

Stewart emphasized that the partnership with the NSW Government aims to illuminate regional water use, shaping future water efficiency programs across the state.

With the trial underway, the results are eagerly awaited, promising a leap forward in understanding and managing water use in regional NSW.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.

Featured news