AI4PublicPolicy Pilots: Burgas, Bulgaria

Location: Burgas, Bulgaria

Pilot Leader(s): Burgas Municipality

Theme – Policies Involved: Data-driven water infrastructure planning and maintenance policies

Burgas Municipality has been heavily investing in the development of a safe and efficient water supply and sanitisation infrastructures, as reflected in recent initiatives, including: (i) The provision of a 32.4 million EUR loan to Burgas Water Supply and Sanitation Operator (“Burgas WSSO”), which is aimed at the co-financing of investments in the infrastructure Burgas WSSO is a state-owned company and sole provider of water supply, wastewater collection and treatment services in the Burgas region; (ii) The recent (March 2021) approval of an investment of over €63 million EUR from the Cohesion Fund to provide better access to drinking water and improved sewerage for the people living in the district of Burgas. In the scope of the AI4PublibPolicy pilot, EKSO and BURGAS will collaborate in the development of a policy making tool that will create and evaluating alternative water pipes maintenance plans, based on data-driven insights about the water management infrastructure (e.g., information about pipes’ installation, placement, and maintenance) and its operative condition (i.e., leveraging EKSO pipes).

The pilot will focus on the following use cases:

  • Data-Driven Maintenance Costs and Sustainability Analysis for Water Pipes: Leveraging data about the water management networks (i.e. pipes installation & placement) different maintenance schedules will be analyzed from a financial perspective, including service, repair and maintenance costs for the pipes that comprise the water infrastructure. In this direction, specific segments of the infrastructure may be selected for analysis in the scope of the project. Furthermore, alternative maintenance schedules will be analyzed in terms of their cost and environmental impact, towards recommending and selecting the best possible scenarios;
  • Condition-based Monitoring and LCA for Maintenance and Repair policies: This use case will extend the previous one with condition-based monitoring data for water pipes, towards extending their lifecycle and improving maintenance schedule. In this direction, the data-driven analysis will be extended with sensor-data derived by EKSO pipes. The analysis will blend information from the previous use cases with lab based data from EKSO with a view to evaluating the added-value of smart pipes and condition-based maintenance for policy making. Each of the use cases will consider citizens’ feedback and satisfaction about specific maintenance plans, which will be collected through on-line surveys.
  • Use of remote controlled water consumption meters and their integration in a smart platform in order to monitor and control water use: Telecom, A1, has provided 30 devices to install in the water usage meters of public buildings, including schools and kindergartens as well as meters linked to systems used for watering city parks and gardens. The devices will be able to display real-time data on a platform, which can also be fed into the AI of the project in order to generate public policies related to water consumption and limiting water wastage.

The following KPIs will be tracked:

  • Cost Optimization/Savings;
  • Sustainability Improvement (including reduced water losses);
  • Citizens’ satisfaction.

Discover more information about our pilot site in Burgas at this link.