Addressing the leakage imperative: Black & Veatch responds with new hire to lead digital transformation of leakage management services

Water companies in England and Wales have to deliver, on average, a 17 percent cut in leakage by 2025. Current levels of leakage, 3.16 billion litres per day in 2018/19, are deemed unacceptable by Ofwat. Black & Veatch has created a new role: Leakage Services Manager, and appointed Stuart White, to help water companies meet the regulator’s expectations.

Meet Stuart White, Black & Veatch’s new Leakage Services Manager

“For the companies meeting current leakage targets, a 15 percent reduction by 2025 still represents a challenge; for those struggling with current targets, Ofwat’s new leakage figures will be daunting,” said Mark Malcolm, Black & Veatch Europe’s director of delivery. “Across the board, success will require new approaches – driven by digital transformation; this is White’s forte,” he added.

White joins Black & Veatch from Severn Trent Water where he has served as the utility’s Transformation Leakage Project Manager, responsible for implementing a portfolio of efficiency initiatives using enhanced monitoring, analytics and prioritised-decision making tools. Prior to Severn Trent, White served with a number of technology companies developing monitoring, analytics and decision-making tools – and software as a service offering – for water companies. He will be part of Black & Veatch’s newly formed Smart Maintenance team, based in the company’s Chester office.

“Leakage risks becoming a stick with which to beat our industry. To foster long-term sustainability and confidence it is increasingly important to be equipped to understand, then optimise, both current performance and future potential of water networks. New strategies underpinned by digital technologies will help us make the necessary strides,” commented White.

To provide greater resilience and sustainability – in light of increasing demand, aging water distribution pipeline assets, changing patterns of rainfall and population density – previously acceptable levels of leakage are being reviewed. To help water companies develop ‘healthy,’ resilient water networks, and reduce losses, White will be combining Black & Veatch’s programme management, logistics, delivery and analytics expertise with leading-edge tools such as SERENE – developed with technology partner Inflowmatix – to provide near time network insights through a district metered area (DMA) Health Index assessment.

The interface between clients’ asset monitoring and control networks, and tools like SERENE will be managed using Black & Veatch’s ECO-X digital ecosystem environment. ECO-X facilitates the seamless interaction of common water industry tools, utilities’ enterprise IT systems and Black & Veatch’s own AI-enabled data gathering, analytics and management tools.