Affinity Water


Jellyfish Bridge
PROG Software

Providing ultra high user measurement solutions for water resource planning

Affinity Water are the largest water-only supplier in the UK and are committed to delivering a high quality water service to their customers. They provide on average 950 million litres of water each day to a population of more than 3.83 million people.

The problem

With leaks becoming an increasingly costly financial and environmental problem, Affinity Water required a solution to help their customers, and the Company, save water and costs.

Our solution

Installation of our latest Jellyfish Bridge device to convert old meters to ‘smart’ meters. Jellyfish will be accompanied by a unique smartphone App that will enable their customers to monitor water consumption more efficiently and detect leaks.

Discover more about Jellyfish Bridge

We teamed up with Julian Webster, Affinity Water’s water neutrality Engineering Manager, to discuss an exciting new collaboration that will help convert old style water meters to ‘smart meters’ using our latest Jellyfish device. The device and the accompanying smartphone App will help customers to save water and costs and also save the Company money, leading to leaks being detected faster.

We have already trialled Jellyfish in the water sector, and its use together with a new phone App will give bespoke up to date readings to customers. The trial forms part of Affinity Water’s water neutrality project in Mid-Bedfordshire and is likely to be a ‘game changer’. Jellyfish uses radio signals to take readings from old style meters and the data collected can be displayed on the phone App.

The costs to the Company work out at £7 per household, with one Jellyfish Bridge device and App able to service eight households at a time and the savings are significant with a two Megalitre per day saving for every 10,000 customers.

Julian Webster water neutrality Engineering Manager explains:

“We are working with B4T on a smart metering project for our water neutrality site in Mid-Bedfordshire to be able to capture live data from customers both household customers and business customers at Bidwell in Houghton Regis. We have engaged with IWNL – the independent water and sewage provider - for the area and they will be working with us on using the Jellyfish device. By using Jellyfish, we can capture live data and share the data to see what benefits can be derived from the project. At a household level we will be able to monitor the behavioural change benefits and also working with H2OiQ on business properties we will be able to see what new fittings work best.

“By turning traditional water meters into smart meters, the data given back to us and customers both helps them and us to save water and to pick up leaks quicker. We hope to see benefits working with B4T in late Spring and early Summer 2024 and then we can assess the real benefits to customers and the Company from these trails. We want to be water efficient and to reduce water use which is really positive for the environment. Water neutrality means we have to extract less water from our rivers and the environment. Smart metering is a massive gain for us, and it will allow us to analyse our data much quicker and to assess the outputs from the project in Mid-Bedfordshire”.

Lina Nieto, Water neutrality Manager at Affinity Water said:

“This is a significant development in our work on water neutrality in Mid-Bedfordshire. The Jellyfish Bridge device will bring benefits for our customers’, and it will help us to find out more about the interventions we are trialling to see what works best and what our customers’ respond to. This is a challenging time for the Water industry, and we need to take bold steps forward in 2024 to ensure we help to alleviate the pressures on the environment as the impact of climate change is being felt on our weather patterns in the summer and winter months. New properties in the Affinity Water area are expected to use an extra 83.03 million litres a day by 2032 on top of what is already being used. Our trials of water neutrality in Mid-Bedfordshire will fly the flag nationally for what interventions work best and creating a blueprint for reducing water demand and leakage. Our thanks go to Ofwat and Nesta for backing this innovation trial.”

Alex Barter MD and Founder B4T explains:

“I am an inventor. The concept of water neutrality is to do more with the same. I am like the Utilities, Utility; providing data to drive the insights and understandings and the different interventions that we can introduce to do more with the same and ease the pressure on our rivers and the Environment.

“There are three things we are going to do to drive the relationship with customers. The first is to acquire the data through our patented Jellyfish device, the second is to understand behaviours and use our machine learning to find out more about the impact of different interventions, while the third is to improve communication with the customer through our phone App”.

He continued: “Our Jellyfish device uses short range radio waves to then, like a trampoline, turn it into a long wave radio that can travel for miles and miles to collect that and transmit it over the internet to our server and to Affinity Water. We can then share that with our customers via the phone App.

“My passion is to save on landfill and to reutilise existing assets and make them smart. Jellyfish is a little step between existing structures and the data we need to acquire to bring change to the sector and individual companies like Affinity Water. It is a two-way communication that will allow us to know more about the interventions customers want.”

Alex says working with Northumbrian Water decryption problems were overcome and the Jellyfish Bridge device came into being.

“With this type of engineering it is about the less you can do. It is simple, effective and ticks the particular boxes that you need to. It has a long battery life – up to ten years -and long-range communication up to 20 miles to a Node and it has to work using open standards. You need to think differently and to develop something that is low cost and efficient. We can tailor the messages to individual customers better than with a Smart Meter, it is hyper regionalised”.

Alex continues: “It is a journey with a set of steps to bring the concept of sharing with customers more information about the water they are using. We worked with Innovate UK last year where we found out what customers like and what Apps were best, and that Ideation session, has informed our work. Customers do want to know what water they are using are what they are spending, and it moves the dial for them”.

Leakage problems can be detected faster, he says:

“I’ve been living this experience for the past three years with the prototypes of Jellyfish with other water companies and earlier versions and our key outcome was to understand how to Identify the small percentage of really ‘gnarly’ cases where the leakage problems arise. This allows us to get to them really, really quickly to make some significant savings on both customer side leakage and targeting and addressing those straight away.”

He emphasises that better data is the key to success:

“The challenge for the sector is to get more data, and reliable data, and with Jellyfish we are collecting data which can be shared. It is data first. We are all in the industry sharing the same challenges that we are in Mid-Beds we need to know what interventions work and what customers want.”

Affinity Water is working with the behavioural change experts Grapeviners and IWNL (Independent Water Networks), who operate water and wastewater networks across the UK, and H2OiQ, a manufacturer, supplier and installer of water efficiency products. The trial is working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and the local community and is Ofwat and Nesta funded.

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