Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT May 2016

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 9 of 39

10 | MAY 2016 | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk Events Cybercrime a 'key concern' for water sector technology B ournemouth Water's managing director Bob Taylor has warned that cybercrime is a 'key concern' for the water industry. Speaking at WWT's Smart Water Networks Conference, held in Birmingham on March 17th and sponsored by Veolia, Taylor talked about challenges facing the industry including skills shortages and leakage, but emphasised that cybercrime is a worldwide issue for utilities. He said: "Cybercrime is a key concern certainly in my own company in the South West at the moment, it is something that our board is very interested in. "We are hearing stories on a regular basis in other parts of the world of utility businesses that have been hacked by outside agencies. The last one I think was an Israeli power station and it's happening regularly in the US. This could be us. "We've had the phishing attack, where people are pretending to be part of your staff and asking for payments to be made – we've had those at Bournemouth actually and it's something that is happening more and more as time goes on." Last November, Chancellor George Osborne warned that National Grid could be under threat of a significant cyber attack by extremist group Isis, as part of its plot to target UK infrastructure. The warning came alongside a pledge to double government spend on cyber security to £1.9bn by 2020. Elsewhere in his presentation, Taylor spoke of how more intelligent networks could help water utilities achieve a step change in measures such as leakage and enhance the customer experience. During the conference, delegates also heard from Matt Hawkins, Data Scientist at Thames Water, about Thames's involvement in the Smart Water 4 Europe project, and how utilities can make the most effective use of the large amount of data now able to be collected in the network. Continuing the 'big data' theme, Dr Steve Mounce of the University of Sheffield pointed out in his presentation that only 0.5% of data produced in the network is ever analysed or used. Data mining through artificial intelligence, enabling predictive analytics, is therefore the key for effective knowledge discovery. "We feel that this is a time for smart networks to really find their voice," Future Water Association innovation and development board member Mark Smith told delegates at the conference. THE SPEAKERS "We should be talking about intelligent networks... intelligence is about the ability to learn and improve." Bob Taylor Managing Director Bournemouth Water "Smart networks have a big part to play in how our customer outcomes will be met." Dave Ward Head of Networks Anglian Water "There will come a day when in a new development, it will be mandatory for developers to put in a wastewater meter." Matt Wheeldon, Head of Wastewater Strategy, Wessex Water Saffron Johnson reports from Birmingham To take away 1. More intelligent water networks can help water utilities achieve a step change in measures such as leakage and customer experience, as well as helping them zero in on water quality issues and make better asset management decisions. 2. Regulatory targets, as well as customer need, are drivers for the implementation of smart network technologies, but strong leadership is required to facilitate cultural changes to make them a reality. 3. Data mining through artificial intelligence and predictive analytics is the key to ensuring that human capability is pointed towards the data and issues that matter. 4. As smart technologies roll out across the network, care must be taken over security, both in the physical sense and in terms of cyber attacks. 5. Smart metering could provide the key to more helpful customer behaviour and reveal the true source and extent of non-revenue water losses . "This is a time for smart networks to find their voice. There is regulatory pressure there that will help." Mark Smith Innovation board member Future Water Association For insights and show news visit utilityweeklive.co.uk INNOVATION CONTENT STREAM: For insights and show news DATA & ANALYTICS CONTENT STREAM: For insights and show news visit utilityweeklive.co.uk SKILLS CONTENT STREAM: For insights and show news TOTEX CONTENT STREAM:

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