LEAKman: Unique Danish partnership against global water losses

In the capital region of Denmark, they listen carefully to their water distribution networks. The country’s two largest water suppliers, HOFOR (Greater Copenhagen Utility) and Novafos, have transformed parts of their water distribution networks around Copenhagen into full-scale demonstration areas with state-of-the-art technology

The challenge
Many water utilities world-wide are massively challenged by water scarcity and water losses. The global average non-revenue water level is around 40 percent, but it differs around the world from close to 5 percent to as much as 80 percent.  In developing countries, roughly 45 million cubic meters of water are lost daily. However, water losses are not a problem restricted only to the developing world. Many cities in Europe and the US have high leakage levels as well.

The solution
The LEAKman project consists of nine Danish partners representing technology providers, consultants, water utilities and the Technical University of Denmark. We have joined forces to demonstrate Danish solutions and pave the way for new technology. The ambition is to make water utilities smarter, and more efficient and sustainable – in Denmark as well as worldwide. For decades, each of the LEAKman partners has delivered solutions and ideas within their specific field of expertise. The unique thing about the project is that we work as one.  We offer water suppliers one integrated leakage management solutions to bring down non-revenue water levels.

In the demonstration-facilities, the LEAKman partners integrate the four key elements of leakage management: pressure management, active leakage control, pipeline management and rehabilitation, as well as speed and quality of repairs. These elements and many of the corresponding components are already in use at water utilities. However, they are often installed as part of separated projects with only little or inefficient integration between the different components. Consequently, the full potential of the entire system is never achieved.

A key point of the LEAKman implementation is to establish seamless and generic interfaces between all components in order to optimise the value of each individual system when combined with the other systems.

In the demo-facilities, noise loggers listen for the sounds of leaks. Smart water meters measure end-user consumption. Intelligent valves and pumps enable active pressure management which reduces the risk of bursts. The collected data is combined with SCADA and GIS in real-time hydraulic modelling and processed in online management information systems to facilitate automatic leakage management and online monitoring of KPI’s. This enables leakage teams to target the weakest pipeline segments with the goal of reducing Non-Revenue Water levels to 4-6%.

Leakage levels in Danish drinking water networks are among the lowest worldwide, with an average loss below 10 %. The relatively small amount of water lost in Denmark is primarily a result of a long-term effort of establishing strategic rehabilitation processes, good craftsmanship and accurate measurements of production and demand consumption. The LEAKman project establishes guidelines for selecting the proper tools and techniques to be implemented at water utilities world-wide.


LEAKman information
The LEAKman project is a 5-year project under the Eco-Innovation Programme supported by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, which runs from 2016 to 2020 and has an overall budget of EUR 5.7 million.


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