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P3 Water Summit Panel Discussion: How to Save Energy and Water

March 15, 2022
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By ASTERRA

What Is the P3 Water Summit Panel?

San Diego, May 2, 2022 – At the recent P3 Water Summit panel discussion in San Diego, attendees dug into the two universal issues for sustainable water programs—how to save both water and energy. Today, ASTERRA announced this discussion, and all the important related information is now available as a recording viewable on-demand at ASTERRA’s website here.

The P3 Water Summit panel discussed the California Energy Commission (CEC) report, which demonstrated that the use of innovative water leak detection technology, specifically ASTERRA’s satellite-based leak detection, is a viable tool. The CEC project lead, Ben Stanford, Ph.D., and several of the industry’s experts, conducted the panel discussion on using innovative technology to bring savings to the water-energy nexus. Stanford, associate vice president of Hazen and Sawyer, the project leader of the CEC study and co-author of the final report, joined other panelists including Ellie Barker, program manager of Imagine H2O, and James Perry, executive vice president of ASTERRA. Martin Coghill from San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) submitted presentation slides used as a part of the panel but was unable to be present for the discussion.

When asked about the CEC report findings, Perry addressed utility decision-makers: “You need strong efficacy from people that independently test and verify (new technology used for saving water and energy), and to help you understand what you are doing from a technical standpoint.” In slides submitted by Coghill for SDCWA, the leak detection results as of March 2022 showed a 333% increase over the benchmark of .33 leaks per mile.

Stanford reported that water-related energy use in California consumes 19% of the state’s electricity (CEC report, 2006) and that the state’s distribution systems lose up to 228 billion gallons of water per year. As such, identifying leaks early and repairing them quickly could significantly mitigate this loss. Stanford used Los Angeles County, the California American Water Duarte System as an example. In that project, 130 water leaks were found during seven months of investigation, resulting in up to 170 million gallons in saved water.

The CEC reported on the study in which a project team installed and evaluated the latest advances in leak detection technology, including satellite imagery leak detection. Reduced water loss directly correlates with reduced energy loss because there is embedded energy in water pumping and treatment. This evaluation was a cooperative effort with vendors to improve the developing tools. During the project, the team also evaluated the financial, water, and energy savings benefits associated with the technologies and provided guidance for utilities to evaluate the technologies for applicability to other systems.

The results of this study are being realized to the benefit of the San Diego County Municipal Utilities Division, where 24 municipal utilities were offered an opportunity in the spirit of a public-private partnership to receive a negotiated plan for using ASTERRA Recover services to find and resolve water leaks. While not all utilities signed on for the program, work is ongoing in numerous regions, where ASTERRA is using data from satellites to detect water leaks at a rate of three times the number of leaks which are found by traditional acoustic methods.

Imagine H2O is part of the development of a spectrum of water technologies, and Barker spoke to that in the discussion. After 12 years, Imagine H2O has supported 166 entrepreneurs and has raised over 800 million dollars of equity capital. It is an accelerator for ASTERRA and was vital early support for ASTERRA’s growth. In 2017, ASTERRA won Imagine H2O’s Water Data Challenge (under their former name, Utilis).

ASTERRA helps governments at the city, county, state, and federal levels to understand and embrace innovative technologies to monitor infrastructure. It succeeds by consistently demonstrating the significant financial, resource management, and environmental benefits of leak detection and infrastructure monitoring programs. Perry said, “We are developing a good understanding of what it takes to innovate. It usually comes from one person with a great idea, and it rarely, if ever, ends there.”

About ASTERRA

ASTERRA provides data-driven solutions for water utilities, government agencies, and the greater infrastructure industry in the areas of roads, rails, dams, and mines. ASTERRA products use synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from satellites and turns this data into large-scale decision support tools. The company’s proprietary algorithms and highly educated scientists and engineers are the key to their mission, to deliver actionable intelligence to advance Earth’s resource resilience. Since 2017, ASTERRA technology has been used in over 59 countries, saving over 169,280 million gallons of potable water, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 108,339 metric tons, and saving 423,200 MWH of energy, all in support of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. ASTERRA is headquartered in Israel with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. Their innovative data solutions are used in multiple verticals around the globe. ASTERRA is investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to bring its products to the next level.

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Karen Dubey
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