Smart Solutions

Remote Monitoring and Management of the Water System

Use of ICT technologies and specialised equipment in the water system to monitor remotely the quality and quantity of the drinking water, to locate malfunctions and reduce losses.

Implemented inKythera

Country : Greece

What’s the solution?

The solution concerns the installation of modern telemetry equipment and equipment for measuring and remote control of the quantity and quality of water supplied and equipment for active leak detection.

The system includes a Central Control Station, accessible to the competent employees of the Municipality and which collects and processes data from 51 Local Control Stations.

The Local Stations with a combination of sensors and measuring devices continuously record and send to the Central Station the following data, by using appropriate telecommunication technologies (e.g. mobile):

  • Tank levels and supplies,
  • Pressures and Pipeline Flows in pumping stations, network drilling,
  • Quality characteristics of water in the supply tanks of the network,
  • Electrical quantities of active elements (pumps),
  • Operating modes of active components (ON-OFF, thermal failures, power outages, etc.) and
  • Leak indications at specific points in the network.

The Central Control Station is equipped with the SCADA software for the surveillance monitoring and remote control of the facilities, as well as for the collection of data from the Local Stations and their analysis.

What makes it smart?

The remote water monitoring and management system is an ICT-based solution that uses modern technologies and equipment to tackle the environmental and economic challenge of reducing water losses across rural areas.

How is the solution implemented?

  • Design the solution after careful study of the needs and implemented infrastructure
  • Look for available funding
  • Prepare the needed material to claim funding
  • Prepare the public tender in order to get a suitable candidate (both quality and economical criteria)
  • Supervise and test the implementation

In what local context has it been applied?

The water supply of Kythera is provided through 63 boreholes and springs. The existing distribution network is quite old, built for the most part in the 1960s. The operation of that infrastructure did not guarantee the quality and quantity of drinking water, especially during the summer months. The analysis of the network data showed that the percentage of losses between produced and billed water is close to 58% on an annual basis, while the literature considers as a tolerable level <25%.

It is, therefore, an important goal to limit the losses in order to ensure the safe water supply of the inhabitants and to ensure the satisfactory but not infinite water resources of the island.

Who was behind the implementation?

Project was planned and implemented by Municipality of Kythera. The engineering team of Kythera designed the solution and supervised its implementation by the private company that won a public tender.

What was the local journey?

The local journey followed the following key steps:

  • The solution was designed after careful study of the needs and implemented infrastructure and the necessary information collected to prepare a funding application
  • Funding was sought from the Regional Operational Programme Attica 2020, co-funded by European Structural and Investments Funds
  • With the funding secured, the municipality prepared a public tender in order to get a suitable candidate (both quality and economical criteria) to implement the works. A significant challenge for the project was handling the great bureaucracy of the Greek public tendering process. From the day that the tender was publicised to the day the contract was signed, one whole year was needed.
  • The selected company was contracted and their work closely supervised and tested. Installing new equipment in an old infrastructure involves a lot of 'unexpected' difficulties based on finding faults in the existing system. These difficulties were overcome through cooperation of the municipality and the contractor.

What have been the main outputs & results?

The system is going to be fully operational in autumn 2020. The first results of the pilot operational seem promising as infrastructure faults (e.g. pipeline breaks) are being found faster by alerts for lower than usual pressure between two control points.

What does it bring the village/community?

  • Sufficient and steady water supply to houses and businesses
  • High quality drinking water
  • Faster finding of infrastructure faults
  • Less lost water due to infrastructure faults
  • Less maintenance cost

What’s needed

Financial resources

Main types of cost:

The major cost of the solution refers to the equipment and its installation to the water system.

Financial needs:

Initial/set-up costs: € 1,891,576.60

Funding received:
Regional Operational Programme Attica 2020, co-funded by European Structural and Investments Funds1,891,577 €100% of the project

Human resources

The project was implemented by a private company after public tender. Three engineers of the Municipality of Kythera were involved in the design phase and in supervising µthe implementation.

Physical resources

The whole project consists of a lot of sensors and counters, photovoltaic, software and hardware and infrastructure for broadband communication

What to do…

  • Have in place a good design
  • Look for available funding
  • Prepare the needed material to proceed to the implementation
  • Utilise existing equipment that is in good condition
  • Develop a prototype and test it
  • Start running the solution
  • Design needed upgrades of the infrastructure
  • Improve the system

and not to do

  • Do not start without having a detailed design
  • Do not try to replace the whole system, parts of the old system might be good to be used
  • Do not just copy an existing system, adjust it to your own needs

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