Working smarter: Barwon Water partners with South East Water’s commercialisation arm, Iota, to accelerate water saving technology rollout

May 2, 2024

Barwon Water is teaming up with Iota to meet the shared challenges facing the Victorian water sector with technology developed in the state.

With support from a technology platform developed at South East Water, Barwon Water will accelerate and expand its digital meter rollout to save water, following successful trials in Apollo Bay and Birregurra.

The trial in Apollo Bay, part of Barwon Water’s Smart Networks project, saw the installation of 300 digital meters with integrated vibration sensors designed to find and fix network leaks that would otherwise go undetected.

It is estimated that 74 million litres could be saved annually across the Apollo Bay system with enhanced network and customer leak detection.

With the successful trial now complete, Barwon Water is looking to further expand the digital meter rollout.

Iota’s enterprise IoT platform Lentic will be deployed to enable the effective rollout of the digital meters at scale, optimising device management and streamlining management of alarms.

The first stage of the rollout will involve building capability and expanding deployments to specific areas in Barwon Water’s network, targeting leak reduction and water savings.

The second stage will focus on a broader roll out to customers across Barwon Water’s service region, which has a population of more than 370,000 people, with expected annual savings of approximately 1,200 million litres.

The Smart Networks program forms a key part of Barwon Water’s long-term digital transformation and water saving strategies, to be more efficient and save customers’ water and money off their bills.

The program is designed to detect leaks within the Barwon Water network, as well as enable further engagement with customers to reduce both demand and customer-side leaks.

Barwon Water has undertaken significant work in this area, with its flagship Birregurra Sustainable Communities – Water project showing what’s possible with digital meter installation (about 400 were installed) and community driven initiatives.

The water-saving program, in partnership with the community, has saved 38 million litres of water, led to the identification and repair of more than 90 leaks and reduced customer bills by $81,000 since it was established in 2020.

As part of the wider digital meter roll out in the Smart Networks program, Barwon Water said it wants to minimise technological risk, which is why Iota was selected as a trusted partner to provide the Lentic Enterprise IoT platform technology and dedicated service support during the initial stage of the project.

The partnership will deliver a digital metering solution that is made by a Victorian utility, for Victorians.

Barwon Water Managing Director Shaun Cumming said Barwon Water was excited to be collaborating with Iota to adopt technology and learnings from South East Water.

“Greater collaboration and knowledge sharing between water utilities leads to better outcomes for everyone.

“By partnering with Iota and taking learnings from South East Water’s approach, we aim to minimise the potential technological risks and enhance knowledge and resource capability across the sector to deliver the best outcomes for our customers and environment. “

Iota is the commercialisation arm of South East Water. A genuine partner to the water industry, Iota incubates, productises and commercialises a portfolio of technologies that South East Water has developed and proven within its network.

South East Water Managing Director and Iota Director Lara Olsen said: “We congratulate Iota and Barwon Water on their partnership and the benefits smart meters will bring to customers, community and the environment”.


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Water Utility ChallengesDigital Utility LeversLentic® Enablers
Water scarcity from climate change and population growthReduce water wastage by identifying network leaksEnable an integrated ecosystem that leverages machine intelligence
Meet and exceed environmental regulatory requirementsIncrease digital monitoring of water value chain to improve water quality and reduce environmental impactEnhance data quality and quantity to support regulatory reporting and transparency


Water Utility Challenges Digital Utility Levers Lentic® Enablers
Rising customer expectations Provide customers with relevant on-demand insights through preferred channels, enabling better service experiences Built-in domain knowledge delivers on-demand customisable insights to customers
Affordability Reduce water services costs through innovative demand management and enhanced operational efficiency Support automation of key business processes to enhance customer service delivery and reduce demand


Water Utility Challenges Digital Utility Levers Lentic® Enablers
Optimise asset life and reduce operating costs Visualise performance and manage asset lifecycle in real time while reducing the need to fund additional infrastructure Domain rules applied to predict unknown disruption across assets, by providing high volume of data
Reduce non-revenue water losses Automate identification of network leaks to enable rapid and cost-effective fault resolution Enable integration of field device data across enterprise systems to manage utility response to network leaks and faults
Protect asset security Provide a safe and resilient operating environment reducing cyber risks to critical infrastructure Security policy and controls are in place to support continuous monitoring efforts in line with ISO0227001