Despite water being considered the cheapest utility, water consumption and quality (including Legionella management) has been receiving more and more attention since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March this year.
Many of the Innovation Gateway Partners discovered unusual water consumption within unoccupied buildings during this time, indicating number of small, hidden leaks that would have gone unnoticed prior to the lockdown.
A particular issue is toilets – a toilet that leaks water from the cistern to the pan can consume up to 400 litres of water per day, according to WaterSafe.
As part of a wider collaboration programme, the Innovation Gateway are holding a Water Working Group for our Partners to encourage collaboration on challenges associated with water; as well as to help find innovative solutions for our Partners’ estates.
The Partners that are involved in the Water Working Group include water experts from some of the largest firms, local authorities, and higher education systems in the UK, including Tesco, Nottingham City Council, Unite Students, Greene King, University of Birmingham, and NatWest.
On the 10th September, the Innovation Gateway held a collaborative session between the Partners on leak detection, self-supply, and metering, which followed a Pitch Event back in July on water efficiency devices. Notably, it was highlighted that leak detection is one of the areas which holds the highest priority within our Partners’ estates; particularly during winter months due to burst pipes.
As a continuation of the Water Working Group, the Innovation Gateway will be holding another session in a few months’ time to regroup and share any updates on leak detection, as well as other areas concerning water efficiency and quality.
Following the success of this Water Working Group, our Partners are now working on other areas, including an EV Working Group for which our next session will be on Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). This will be held on the 29th September 2020. In this virtual session, the working group will be joined by an industry expert to discuss V2G and the potential opportunities of this emerging technology.
Please get in touch if you have any comments, insights and experience with these particular challenges, or are an innovator with a solution that could be of benefit to our Partners.
By Alie King, Research and Collaboration Officer