September blog

In this month’s blog we talk about:

  • Investing in data science
  • Water company business plans
  • The summer heatwave and its impact on demand
  • Recent work with the UN in Canada
  • New faces at Artesia

Investing in data science

Artesia continues to develop its expertise in data science and this month Artesia’s Principal Statistician, Shana, and Principal Analyst, Sarah, spent 3 days in London at the EARL 2018 (Enterprise Applications of the R Language) event. EARL brings together data scientists to improve collaboration, knowledge and communication within the R community. The first day consisted of workshops providing training of novel R concepts and packages for use in industry. The following two days were conferenced based, featuring presentations about new technology and innovations from those that produce RStudio and experts discussing the use and application of R in a wide range of industries. The conference was attended by around 400 individuals who are as passionate about data science and R, as we are at Artesia. We look forward to attending similar events in the future.

We are also looking to grow the team further with a position currently open for a Data Scientist with experience in using R. Click this link for further information.

Over the coming months we will continue to introduce some of these innovations to our clients as we help them solve some of their future challenges.

Water company business plans

Talking of challenges, September 2018 was a big month for the water industry. All the water companies in England and Wales published their draft business plans on the 3rd. These can be found here.

They include ambitious new commitments by companies to reduce leakage, set in response to Ofwat’s clear call for action in this area. Most companies are aiming to reduce leakage by around 15% over the business plan period (from 2020-2025), whilst Yorkshire Water and South Staffs Water have set a target of 25% and 23% respectively. These are ambitious targets and Artesia is already working with several companies to assist in this area, with a focus on defining night use rates at present.

The draft business plans also include more ambition on personal water use, in advance of Defra guidance on this, due out soon. Artesia worked with thirteen water companies in England and Wales to produce household demand forecasts for their 2019 water resources management plans and our project for Ofwat earlier this year also set the context for long-term potential for deep reductions in household consumption (link).

Water demand: insights from summer 2018

This month Artesia started a large collaborative a project to quantify the impact of the 2018 heatwave on water demand, and provide insight, data and strategies to provide resilience against similar future events. This work was initiated by Affinity Water, and attracted support from 14 water companies and the EA.  Following on from one of the hottest summers on record together with 2006, 2003 and 1976, the summer of 2018 is likely to finish in the top 5 driest for England. It was also in the top 5 sunniest for the UK.

The work will gather data and explore relationships between all the components of water demand and a range of factors including weather, metering and customer communications. Comparisons will be made between regions and with historic dry weather and drought events. The outputs will help companies plan for future extreme weather events and help with mitigating the impacts on demand.

Interim project outputs will be presented in November, and the main findings of the study will be made public in early 2019.

Simon working for the United Nations on SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals

Simon has been working with the United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health to provide an independent evaluation of their project “Water in the World We Want”.  The key product of the project is the SDG Policy Support System (SDG PSS); this will support national governments to assess and track six components that are critical for effective enabling environments to deliver water related sustainability comprising: gender mainstreaming, financing, risk reduction and resilience, capacity, integrity, and policy and institutional strength.  The project engaged with five trial countries – the Republic of Korea, Ghana, Costa Rica, Pakistan and Tunisia.

Simon undertook the evaluation over July and August and then presented his findings at the final project workshop in Ottawa in September which included a gathering from other UN institutions, including UN Water, and the participating country representatives.

New faces

This month we welcomed Sam Kamperis to the team. Sam is the Associate working with us as part of our KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) collaboration with Exeter University to develop new data analytics and machine learning tools for the effective and efficient detection and repair of distribution and trunk mains leakage.

We have also welcomed Rebecca Greenslade as Office Manager to the company. Becky brings over 15 years’ experience in business management and recruitment to the team.