The University of Western Australia, the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) and WA’s Water Corporation have collaborated on a joint Research and Development project to trial automated data analysis software to help save water.

The software uses hourly water use data supplied by smart water meters to identify irrigation habits, allowing water utilities to tailor engagement with individual customers.

As part of the joint Research and Development project, the hourly water use data from 3,557 residential households in a Western Australian town was used to develop an analysis of irrigation habits. This led to the development of an algorithm, which was able to identify the irrigation habits of 76 per cent of the trial households. Identified habits were then categorised based on the frequency and volume of water used by each household.

Water utilities can use this information to work with customers when irrigation systems are using excessive amounts of water. This may indicate a leak within the irrigation system, or that it has been set incorrectly.  By detecting inefficient irrigation practices, this allows customers to save precious water, and money on their next bill.

The software is based on the CRCWSC’s broader C5.1 project. Rachel Cardell-Oliver (CRCWSC Project Leader for C5.1 project), Rui Wang (UWA), and Nathan Harper (Water Corporation) have determined this type of emerging technology can be used more widely across the water industry in the coming years.