An integrated approach to empowering domestic water users.

Albert Rodríguez, Stephan Flake, Mario Vasak, Jeppe Herlev Nielsen

Thursday 2 july 2015

12:15 - 12:30h at North America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) FP7 ICT and water

Parallel session: 11I. Special session: FP7 ICT and water

The UrbanWater project (FP7-ICT-318602) has developed a set of tools as a result of an integrated approach towards water management. A significant part of these tools are provided to domestic users with the main aim of increasing customer empowerment and, therefore, easing the change in demand consumption patterns. To achieve this objective a set of tools has been developed to do the following: • Provide the user with updated and meaningful information on their own consumption, including past consumption patterns and trends. • Inform the users about the water distribution processes and challenges related to the supply of drinking water in urban areas. • Provide incentives for users to change their consumption behaviour. • Create a community competition effect. This is achieved by the cooperation of different modules that include: • An Adaptive pricing system that creates a time dependant price profile. • An automatic billing system that offers real time information to users not only in terms of water consumed but also in terms of costs including the selected tariffs and simulated alternative tariffs. • Two different online games that provide insight into the challenges involved in the supply of drinking water and suggest ways of using water more efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly way. • An on-line portal and a smart phone App that allow the user to efficiently access all the information generated by the other modules. • A central platform that integrates all modules and also provides an interface for the water utility company. The UrbanWater solution is being deployed in 2 different pilot sites within the scope of the UrbanWater project. The novelty of the proposed solution relies in its integrated approach and the possibility of validating in real scenarios the combination of these different tools for customer empowerment. The effect of innovative tariffs will be validated by using incentives that will replace the real savings that the participants could obtain in their real bills if regulations allowed using these tariffs. Benefits from this integrated approach will be validate by gradually introducing the different features to different groups of participants. In this way it will be possible to measure the different effects of each module in modifying the consumption patterns of participants.