Digital technology is not only used in smartphones and tablets. Southern Water is investigating how digital technologies can make life better for our customers and protect the environment.
For example, we are testing wireless sensors to monitor pipelines for blockages so we can resolve issues swiftly. Digital technology is also being used to track water quality in real-time.
One of our latest innovations is a low-cost clip-on device that fits on top of a water meter. Think of it as an IQ booster for your water meter! The clever device measures how much water is being used and transmits the information straight to the customer’s home. It’s a great example of how smart technology can put people in control of their water usage and help reduce water consumption.
Where do our research and development ideas come from? The answer is many places such as regulators, colleagues, universities, technology companies and of course our customers. At Southern Water, we talk to customers on a regular basis to understand their needs today, tomorrow and in the future. Their areas of interest include creating sustainable communities, recycling water and safeguarding our rivers and coasts for the future. Microplastics are also a concern for our customers and us - that’s why we are innovating to address all of these topics and more.
What are some of the essential ingredients for a successful research and development programme? Having the right culture and collaborating with others is vital. None of us is smarter than all of us – and that’s why we work together with many companies and universities. For example, did you know we created an Innovation Hub with the University of Portsmouth?
Thinking about the years ahead, Southern Water has an exciting future in innovation.
Discover more about Southern Water’s research and development projects in our upcoming blogs.
And check out our innovation podcast here: http://waterwatch.podbean.com/
-Gerard Harkin, R&D Manager at Southern Water