Gandía has become the European Smart Water City of reference. Through the project led by GoAigua, Vodafone and the Gandía Town Council, this municipality of Valencia (Spain) is immersed in a process of digital transformation of water management thanks to GoAigua’s solutions and Vodafone’s NB-IoT communication network.
Its benefits extend to different actors involved in the water cycle: citizens, industry, administration and public services. Here are the details of this pioneering initiative in Europe.
1. How did this project start?
The plan for the digitization of water management in the city of Gandia arises as a result of the joint effort between GoAigua, Vodafone and the city council. The aim of the municipal team was to boost water yield, optimise resources and offer an excellent service to citizens.
The solution chosen was the implementation of GoAigua’s technological solutions together with Vodafone’s advances in NB-IoT, generating synergies between two leading companies in digitization and connectivity.
2. What is NB-IoT?
Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) is an innovative technology designed to facilitate the connection of objects that transmit small amounts of data over long periods of time. The type of communication used is designed to maximise the efficiency and durability of the meter battery, using the existing mobile network.
In this project, Vodafone channels data transmission through its communications network, using SIM cards and mobile phone infrastructure. This simplifies communication between the device and the central information receiver.
3. What does this project involve?
The digitization of water management in Gandia involves the implementation of remote reading meters and the transmission of hourly consumption data using Vodafone’s NB-IoT communications infrastructure. These data are subsequently acquired and standardized in GoAigua’s Big Data platform. Innovative services are built on this process to increase management efficiency and improve citizens’ quality of life.
The project includes the deployment of around 40,000 smart meters responsible for collecting and transmitting hourly consumption information. Thanks to advances in NB-IoT connectivity, Vodafone will ensure that every area, no matter how difficult its access to a network is, has a fully operable meter.
In addition, the use of the Vodafone NB-IoT infrastructure means having a homogeneous and cutting-edge communication technology for the entire city, solving possible connectivity problems thanks to an innovative network. In fact, it has already reached an efficiency of 98% in the readings. The deployment is carried out on an existing mobile network infrastructure, which facilitates the implementation of the project.
4. Why is this so innovative in the sector?
The project is pioneer in the efficient management of water using remote reading and NB-IoT technologies for the transmission of hourly consumption data. The confluence of GoAigua’s experience, which already manages more than 700,000 smart meters, together with the telecommunications company Vodafone, has turned Gandía into an international reference Smart Water City.
5. Which challenges have arisen during implementation?
The size of the population has been one of the main challenges, as the project includes the deployment of a park of large smart meters in one of the main municipalities of the Valencian Community (Spain). In addition, the originality of the project and its dimensions implies a detailed preparation with the participation of numerous experts, led by both companies and the City Council of Gandía.
6. Which improvements are generated by this project?
The implementation of the project brings improvements for different actors involved in the integral water cycle, having the hourly monitoring of consumption numerous practical applications. Centralized management from a single platform boosts water yield and makes it possible to offer an excellent service to the population.
Citizens will be able to detect internal leaks and receive alerts for consumption in empty flats, for example in second homes. Through a mobile application, they will be able to check their hourly water consumption and receive alarms for incidents. In addition, improvements in management make it possible for water supply cuts to disappear. All of this benefits a more satisfied citizenship.
In relation to water cycle management, the prediction of demand, the detection of leaks in the distribution network, as well as fraud alerts are undoubtedly one of the great advances provided by the project. Other advantages of monitoring are the calculation of water balance and the creation of customer segments based on consumption patterns.
The detection and early resolution of leaks results in a reduction in Non-Revenue Water. This implies a lower economic cost for the City Council of Gandía, the reduction of problems in the public street derived from losses in the network and a real advance in terms of sustainability.
The implementation of this project also boosts the efficiency of field work thanks to the automatic creation of work orders.
On the other hand, the municipal team obtains precise and centralized information on the infrastructures and their state, being able to assess which elements of the distribution network should be replaced according to the total budget.
The protection of vulnerable groups is another added value of the project, since the detection of irregular patterns or interruption of consumption in households with dependent people generates alerts for social services.
Finally, the industry also benefits from this project by being able to monitor its hourly consumption and increase its ability to detect internal leaks.
7. Which new horizons does this technology open?
The implementation of this project implies that Gandía will have available and ready for use a quality NB-IoT network, so that it will be able to integrate any Smart City project with this technology. Any sector and public that incorporates NB-IoT compatible sensors can benefit from this coverage.
Find out more about this project on the case study’s page Gandía is recognized as Smart Water City.
GoAigua is a pioneer company in the digitalization of the water industry. We accompany water sector organizations in their digital transformation process and provide technological solutions for the commercial cycle, assets and work orders. We digitalize both infrastructures and processes to build a smart decision system in water organizations. From Water Experts to the Water Industry.