Northumbrian Water has announced progress in the development and testing of “Barnacle” - a new smart device that can detect water leaks and potential issues with water supply - in collaboration with CGI.

The idea for Project Barnacle was the result of a CGI-led design sprint “Smart Objectives: Smart devices are filling up our homes. How can we improve customers' lives by making the most of smart technology?” held at the Northumbrian Innovation Festival 2018.

The device, which acts as a smart sensor, indicates if there is a problem with either the customer’s water supply, or potentially an even bigger issue on the wider water network, alerting customers before they may even be aware of a problem. This can help customers save both water and money.

“We’ve taken a really clever idea from the Innovation Festival and turned into a physical object, a prototype that we’re actually testing now, using a purpose-built test rig,” said Eddie Wrigley, Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Facilitator. Following the successful testing process, Northumbrian Water plans to identify an area to roll out a pilot project.

Andy Baynes, Director Consulting Services at CGI said, “This is a great example of how today’s smart technology can be leveraged to help tackle one of the water industry’s hardest challenges. Partnering with Northumbrian Water to take one of the exciting ideas from last year’s Innovation Festival and develop a working prototype has been a rewarding experience for all involved. With longer term water shortages becoming a cause for increasing concern, it is tremendous to be able to apply technology in a way that is so beneficial not only to Northumbrian Water customers but also to wider society.”

Read the press release for more details.