Aguas do Porto created H2Porto, the utility’s digital twin for smart water management

“H2Porto is a very important catalyst for the digital transformation paradigm implemented by Águas do Porto, since it supports the change of processes, using technological tools to adapt the work of the people into new realities.” – Pedro Vieira, IT and Innovation Director, Águas do Porto

Water quality challenges

Oporto, Portugal is shaped by water. The city contains the Douro River/estuary, eight beaches as well as wetlands and small streams. Águas do Porto, a public company, manages the entire urban water cycle for Oporto – the water supply, wastewater, two wastewater treatment plants, water quality in streams and wetlands, water quality at coastal areas, and stormwater drainage.

The utility is focused on enhancing water quality. Its ongoing concerns are that stormwater drainage carries pollution, and sanitary drainage includes stormwater and increased inflow to wastewater treatment plants. Historically, there were over 20 different software systems to manage the utility. But, there was no communication among systems, no capacity to use numerical models, and little opportunity to be proactive. And, this lack of communication made it very difficult to understand the complex problems associated with coastal pollution.

H2Porto, a digital twin solution

To solve this challenge Aguas do Porto created H2Porto, the utility’s digital twin. H2Porto is an integrated platform that manages the urban water cycle consisting of 22 water supply models, an integrated sewer/storm and streams model, coastal circulation model, and high-resolution meteorological model. Using this digital gives operations a view of the entire system that is constantly updated. The view includes trigger alerts that allows operations support to respond quickly to events. And, offline modeling allows the utility to study what-if scenarios that can improve water quality.

“The analysis of the network sensors, together with the analysis of the predictive models, helps us to understand the future behaviour of our water assets, based on data,” explains Pedro Vieira, IT & Innovation Director at Águas do Porto. “For example, we have a model where, through an algorithm, it is possible to predict leaks in pipelines, based in historical data from operations, weather and assets. We’re also developing a model that is optimizing field operational teams that deliver water meters.”

“We are currently working on enhancing the tools we already have with more sensors and more functionalities. We want to increase the coverage of our models, starting with wastewater and, later, stormwater,” says Pedro Vieira. “At the moment, water network sensors are linked to the models, but our goal is to also integrate sensors associated with customers’ water consumption.”

Fast Facts

  • Water supply interruptions fell 42.9%
  • Volume of NRW dropped by 10.1%
  • Duration of pipe burst repairs improved 6%
  • Number of sewer collapses decreased 14.7%
  • Duration of sewer and service connection repairs improved 44.5%