Norwegian City takes bold actions towards water stewardship

Jan 05, 2024

InfoTiles has been selected to deliver our water platform managing data from smart water meters in partnership with NTE and Altibox in Norway’s third largest municipality, Trondheim.

Over the next five years, around 60,000 analogue meters will be replaced by smart water meters for houses, apartments, and buildings in Trondheim municipality. With the installation of smart water meters, most people in Trondheim will soon no longer have to report water consumption manually, and water managers in Trondheim municipality will gain a better understanding of consumption and leakage in the water system. InfoTiles is used as a single, centralised platform to consolidate data from all water meters, as well as from multiple other sources. All data is being processed and turned into insights which enable the municipality to make informed financial and operational decisions based on facts.

Johnny Alexander Gunneng, CEO of InfoTiles, said "This initiative from Trondheim municipality significantly contributes to reducing water leaks while encouraging responsible water use by providing valuable insights on how we use our water. InfoTiles is proud of this collaboration with Trondheim, NTE and Altibox to deliver better services to residents and a more sustainable community”.

Digitalise water and sewage

In practice, the smart water meter is a sensor, owned by the Trondheim Municipality, which is placed on the main water supply inlet in homes and commercial buildings to measure water consumption.  The digital meters read the water consumption and automatically send data over the long-range (LoRa) communication network to central servers for registration. Information on water consumption will be processed securely in accordance with laws on privacy and data security and will be used by the municipality to provide enhanced services to its residents and detect potential areas of leakage. The goal is to transmit this data to InfoTiles’ central data platform to map domestic and municipal water usage at a granular level – for both consumers and water managers.

“Today, meter reading is largely done manually, preferably once a year. The invoicing of consumption is therefore also done manually. With remotely read, smart water meters, you can open completely different options for analysing and monitoring what is happening in the water and sewage network, and finding leaks,” says Magne Eide, commercial manager at InfoTiles.

Important partners and stakeholders in the project are NTE and Altibox – who deliver digital infrastructure that makes it possible to use smart water meters through the LoRa network.

Torbjørn Nilsen, sales manager for sensor services at Altibox said, “We want to take social responsibility and help the municipalities to identify where the leaks are, so that they can be repaired. This simplifies everyday life for those who use the service, and reduces costs for everyone who uses municipal water and sewage services. We know infrastructure, but we don't know water. That is why we have teamed up with InfoTiles.”

Erik Jensen, Project Manager at NTE said, "One of the reasons why we have joined the project is that we see that we can help the municipalities to create value for their citizens. At the same time, we have the technological expertise, and it's good to be able to take social responsibility and contribute to the municipality's sustainability work,"

Accurate billing for residents

Smart water meters automate the process of meter reading, eliminating the need for manual data collection. This improves the operational efficiency of Norwegian municipalities by reducing labour costs and streamlining billing processes. This helps prevent over or underbilling and improves transparency in the billing process. The meters will send data about consumption regularly enabling accurate water consumption as the basis for customer invoices. 

In the long term, residents will be able to see their consumption on a digital portal called MinSide – planned for release by 2024. By identifying areas of high consumption and taking proactive measures, residents can also actively contribute to water conservation efforts in Trondheim.

Leakage detection

In Norway, 30-35 percent of drinking water is lost on the way to the tap due to leaks in the pipe network. This represents a large cost for municipalities which operate water and wastewater systems. 

As well as helping consumers better understand and reduce their domestic water consumption behaviours, this technology rollout will also help municipal water managers detect any unusually high consumption and identify leaks, either at a property or in the connecting pipework. This will help the municipally better maintain the drinking water network and carry out repairs more efficiently.

With data gathered through the InfoTiles’ platform, municipality water managers can continually assess the health and effectiveness of assets and can anticipate, detect, and resolve potential problems before they occur or respond quickly to emergencies or abnormal conditions in the water network.

This means maintenance teams and investments can be deployed more efficiently and resource allocation can be optimised. This digital transformation is part of a wider drive for the municipality to ensure its water management network has greater resilience to a changing climate and is fit for the future.

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