16 Jun 2022

Meeting net zero is great, beating day zero is vital (Guest blog from FIDO Tech)

Guest blog from Victoria Edwards, CEO of FIDO Tech, on the role of AI in tackling water leakage.

There aren’t many sectors that come close to water in terms of importance to societal resilience. The United Nations has acknowledged this. Water – whether drought or floods – affects every single one of its Sustainable Development Goals. 
 
However, across the globe, a staggering 30 per cent of piped water is lost before it reaches the consumer. That’s not just a staggering waste of money and carbon (four per cent of global power is used to source, treat and distribute water), it’s putting communities at risk of Day Zero, the day the water runs dry. 
 
Incredibly, London is one of the most often-quoted at-risk cities. With changing weather and population, London is now drier than South Sudan. This is despite the UK being one of the most advanced and innovative countries when it comes to tackling water leakage. It is here that the battle to stop the leaks is being fought hardest. Tackling leakage is a cornerstone of the UK’s commitment to deliver net zero supplies by 2030 – a first for any national water sector, but it won’t happen without tech. 
 
The problem with leaks is that more than 90 per cent of them never show above ground, so finding them is hard. You need to listen for them. Traditional technologies range from listening sticks (which engineers use to listen to the pavement), to data loggers. But they all come back to the same thing. At some point, humans must listen to a noise and decide how to act.  
 
Truly disruptive, AI technology not only analyses those sounds accurately without human error but acts beyond human capabilities altogether. This tech can tell utilities the size of their hidden leaks and even their exact location. Using AI, one UK utility halved its overall leak run time. Another nearly halved the cost of saving a megalitre of water. 
  
With more data, we can do even more. Being consciously sensor-agnostic and committed to open data, we collaborate with manufacturers to get ‘FIDO inside’ other people’s hardware. Finding leaks was just the beginning. This is the power of UK tech.

Recently named one of KMPG's top two Global Tech Innovators, FIDO Tech is a UK technology innovation company using deep-learning neural networks to break new ground in leak detection and add unrivalled insight to leakage data.


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