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Water loss reduction initiative expands to Mexico

Autor: Sarah Hofer

In an effort to combat water loss, a global collaboration involving organizations from the UK, US, and Mexico is launching a long-term project in Querétaro, Mexico.
Source: Pixabay/ Michelle_Raponi

10. November 2023 ǀ In an effort to combat water loss, a global collaboration involving organizations from the UK, US, and Mexico is launching a long-term project in Querétaro, Mexico. Utilizing actionable AI, the initiative aims to manage and conserve water resources across 350km of pipelines, addressing a critical issue in a region suffering from droughts.

The long-term project will deploy actionable artificial intelligence (AI) over 350km of pipelines, which accounts for almost 10% of the water network operated by the State Commission of Water in Querétaro (CEA), one of the main utilities covering almost the whole state of Querétaro in Mexico.

Addressing water loss: A global collaboration

Financed by Microsoft, a partnership between Generagua, a leader in infrastructure solutions in water, energy and telecommunications, and UK-based AI and technology solutions provider, Fido Tech, will deliver leak detection and broader non-revenue water (NRW) water management and conservation solutions. Along with Aguascalientes, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon, Querétaro is one of the six states suffering from droughts across the territory.

The World Bank estimates that as a global average, 30% of the world’s piped water is lost before it reaches the customer, most of it due to leaks and theft. In developing nations, roughly 45 million cubic metres of water are lost daily, worth over $3 billion per year. Across Mexico, it’s estimated that between 30-40% of water supply is lost daily due to leaks.

Querétaro: A model of innovation and collaboration in water conservation

However, the Querétaro State has emerged as an example of the triple helix model of innovation, a concept that refers to the coordinated efforts between academia, industry and government to promote economic and social development.Querétaro will be the third collaboration between Microsoft and Fido Tech and follows projects being delivered in London with UK utility Thames Water and in Phoenix, Arizona, with Epcor.

Fido’s AI solutions can identify leaks and, most importantly, rank them by size, even in the noisiest networks, regardless of pipe material or condition. Detecting and fixing water losses positively impacts water availability with immediate impact across local watersheds in a quantifiable way.

Microsoft’s journey to water positivity

In 2020, Microsoft announced that it would be working to become water positive by 2030. To get there, Microsoft is relying on five key pillars: reducing water use intensity, replenishing more water than we consume, increasing access to water and sanitation services for people across the globe, driving innovation to scale water solutions, and advocating for effective water policy.

Eliza Roberts, Water Lead at Microsoft, said: “In order to become water positive by 2030, part of our strategy is to replenish water sources and drive innovation to scale water solutions. The continued collaboration with FIDO Tech, using actionable AI-enabled acoustic analysis to reduce water lost to leakage, helps to achieve both goals. We are excited to partner with FIDO on this third project, moving to Mexico and the Querétaro metropolitan area.”

Victoria Edwards, Co-Founder & CEO of Fido Tech, said: “We are honored to continue the collaboration with Microsoft in reducing non-revenue water around the world. From London to Phoenix and now Querétaro, we are moving quickly to deploy actionable AI at scale in the global fight against unnecessary water loss. Uniting multinationals to utilities through our FIDO Plus offering has immediate results with a quantifiable impact. We look forward to work with Generagua and utility CEA as we drive down water losses to help collectively increase water security. We would like to thank the leadership of the Governor of Queretaro, Mr. Mauricio Kuri and Mr Luis Vega, executive chairperson of the water utility.”

Gonzalo Alvarez, Director of Innovation and Processes at CEA, said: “We are excited to join forces with Fido Tech, Microsoft and Generagua. Our vision is to be a leader and reference in sustainable water management that can be shared across Mexico. We will do this by using state-of-the-art technologies, delivered through innovative partnerships that will help us to be more efficient across different areas of the business.”

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