AI4PublicPolicy / Burgas, Bulgaria

Water Infrastructure Planning & Maintenance

📍 Burgas, Bulgaria

Coordinated by Burgas Municipality.

About the pilot

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).

Pilot poster

Use Cases

Summary

  • Smart Water Management System – Pobeda Residential Neighborhood: This use case measures the water losses and identifies those that are due to unauthorized consumption. Subsequently, it develops data-driven policies for the prevention of damages and losses.
  • Condition-based Monitoring and LCA for Maintenance and Repair policies: This use case extends 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 is extended with sensor-data derived by EKSO pipes. The analysis blends 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 considers citizens’ feedback and satisfaction about specific maintenance plans, which are collected through on-line surveys.

Detailed description

Use Case #1
Use Case Name Smart Water Management System – Pobeda Residential Neighborhood
Summary This use case will measure the water losses and identify those that are due to unauthorized consumption. Subsequently, it will develop data-driven policies for the prevention of damages and losses.
Description This use case will develop data-driven policies for the maintenance of the water management infrastructure by monitoring and measuring the water inflow and using AI to analyze and process the data. The Pilot smart pipe will be installed in a zone called District Metered Area (DMA) and it has 1131 water supply connections and approximately 8200 residents. The neighborhood was chosen because it has a predominantly Roma population and historically low rates of bill collection, assumed to be due to the low income and illegal water connections. This directly affects the operational quality of the network.  Beside the various problems that could be managed, that the pilot should take into consideration, the most important is to identify directly or indirectly which losses are due to leakages and unauthorized consumption. The historically measured data will be utilized to train the AI that will later provide information on the amount and type of water losses. The AI algorithms will try to find the most likely status of the water supply network after assigning a certain degree of uncertainty to the existing data and perform a continuous calibration on the network. This will allow an analysis of the structure of the errors (difference between the measurements and predictions) at each control point, and it will allow information to be extracted from the error patterns.
Value Proposition(s) ▪       [Reduce] Physical Water Losses

▪       [Reduce] Commercial Water Losses

▪       [Improve] Water Quality

▪       [Control] Water Tariff Increases

▪       [Optimize] Capital Investment

▪       [Reduce] Operating Costs

▪       [Benefit] Consumers

▪       [Support] Sustainable Development Goals

▪       [Deliver] Better Service

Documentation Paper reports going back 3 years from the billing system of WSSO, paper records going back 3 years of network maintenance and water loss events
Keywords Water infrastructure, AI, water losses reduction, water quality, maintenance cost reduction, sustainable development goals, smart water technology
Use Case #2
Use Case Name Condition-based Monitoring and LCA for Maintenance and Repair Policies
Summary This use case will develop data-driven policies for the maintenance of main water infrastructure.
Description This use case will develop data-driven policies for the maintenance of main water infrastructure by monitoring and measuring the water inflow and the corresponding pressure on a continual basis for the primary water distribution network on Industrialna street, which is a steel pipe with diameter of 530 millimetres and length of 1450 metres. The chosen location and pipe is known for a lot of accidents (i.e. pipe bursts) in the past and the pipe should be replaced with a new one. This will provide the AI with important, valuable, and irreplaceable information of historical data, measurements before and after the new pipe installation.

The measured data will be utilized to train the AI that will later evaluate the condition of the pipe and after replacement the difference in water losses will be measured. The process will provide us with information that can later be upscaled to wider proportions of the net. This will help to identify, prioritize and target the areas that will bring the largest benefits and at the same time reduce maintenance costs because of strategically placed efforts (e.g., installing fewer sensors and repairing or replacing the pipes with the biggest impact first).

Value Proposition(s) ▪       [Prioritize] Pipe Replacement

▪       [Optimize] Distribution Network Sectorization

▪       [Reduce] Physical Water Losses

▪       [Reduce] Commercial Water Losses

▪       [Improve] Water Quality

▪       [Control] Water Tariff Increases

▪       [Optimize] Capital Investment

▪       [Reduce] Operating Costs

▪       [Benefit] Consumers

▪       [Support] Sustainable Development Goals

▪       [Deliver] Better Service

Documentation Paper records going back 3 years of network maintenance and water loss events
Keywords Pipe replacement, water infrastructure, AI, water losses reduction, water quality, cost reduction, sustainable development goals, smart water technology

User Stories

User

Stories

As a «type of user», …

Identify the customer job(s) to which this user story relates.

… I want «some goal» …

Describe the intended goal that the user expects to be fulfilled.

… so that «some reason».

Identify the reason(s) to which this user story relates.

US54 WSSO executive I want to know the amount of water lost due to pipe bursts or leakages to ensure sufficient operational pressure in the pipes so that quality services can be provided
US55 Water Supply Manager for the neighborhood I want to know the geographical distribution of leakages/illegal connections so that I can stop them and to plan prevention activities
US56 Resident I want good constant pressure, quality, and affordability of the water. to have a good quality of life
US57 WSSO Engineer I want to predict the status of the water supply (water level, pressure, etc) To optimize and better plan my work
US58 WSSO Engineer I want to know the error patterns at each control point. To better analyze pipe performance
US59 WSSO public relations manager I want adopt a more advanced maintenance strategy/policy so I can maximise efficiency of maintenance activity reducing maintenance cost and service interruption.
US60 Burgas Municipality As the owner of the water supply and sewerage networks, the municipality wants the cost of maintenance to be kept as low possible because this affects the price of water and allows for the social peace to be kept
US61 WSSO Engineer I want to assess our technological capacities so that realistic goals and development plans are made
US62 WSSO Technical Manager I want to have planned repair works on the network so that citizens are not so impacted by it
US63 Resident I want to be informed about the planned repair work So I can plan for water shortages
US64 WSSO Engineer I want to undergo a digital transformation so that we improve customer service delivery
US65 WSSO Engineer I want to adopt smart water technologies and using AI to analyze large quantity of data so that it frees up specialists time to work on something else and receive unbiased data results
US66 WSSO executive I want to know the occurrence of incidents by location I can manage the company better
US67 WSSO analyst Report the difference in water (loss) before and after pipe replacement So I can analyze the performance of the pipes
US68 WSSO analyst Identify and prioritize the areas that suffer the greatest impacts of pipe repairing or replacing To optimize the network
US69 WSSO executive I want to know the costs of repair projects and accidents Prioritize tasks that will bring the largest benefits and at the same time reduce maintenance costs

Co-creation workshops

First cocreation workshop in Burgas, Bulgaria

Discover more about the first co-creation workshop of Burgas Municipality that took place on the 5th of November 2021 as a supporting event of the Burgas Digital 2021 conference, at the International Congress Center in the city of Burgas.

2nd AI4PublicPolicy Co-creation Workshop in the Burgas Pilot (Bulgaria)

The second co-creation workshop for the Burgas pilot took place in Burgas from 13:30 to 16:00 on the 5th of April and it was a hybrid event. It was held on the premises of the Burgas Water Company and online using the zoom account of Burgas Municipality.

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