Technology Record - Issue 30: Autumn 2023

169 AdP’s digital twin, which is a virtual representation of the physical water system, is integrated with its H2PORTO platform, which centralises near-real-time and historical data from 22 types of sources, including billing, meters, sensors, operations, weather stations and control systems. This enables AdP to track the status of each part of the water system, forecast the performance of the entire water system up to three days in advance, and respond instantly to automatic alerts about potential problems. It can also run virtual simulations of issues such as pipe breaks or valve closures to determine how the water system would react and develop solutions. Sensor data is now almost 99 per cent accurate, water supply service interruptions have fallen by 22 per cent, the number of sewer collapses has decreased by 54 per cent, and there has been an 8.3 per cent and 45.5 per cent increase in repairs being carried out on burst pipes and sewer and services connections, respectively. Technicians can now remotely access H2PORTO via a tablet in the field to register asset details and changes, producing operational gains of 23 per cent. “The efficient use and recycling of water is essential to achieve a self-sufficient city,” says Ondiviela. “Once again, the use of the latest technologies in digital twin simulation allows us to design cities that are resilient to climate change.” Porto is just one of many cities where digital twins are accelerating innovation and public service delivery. For example, digital twins are helping to improve energy management in Helsinki, Finland; water management and resiliency in Gothenburg, Sweden; city planning in Dublin, Ireland; traffic management, noise and pollution in Antwerp, Belgium; road safety in Alkmaar and urban planning in Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands. “Digital twins can be applied in the public sector to model and optimise urban planning, infrastructure management and disaster response,” says Goldberg. According to Ondiviela, urban digital twins can be used for three key purposes: data integration, simulation and innovation. “Cities can bring together data on traffic, weather, infrastructure, and other resources to innovate in areas such as urban mobility, emergency planning, and energy and water usage,” he explains. “As all areas in the city are intertwined, city managers can see the impact of one problem on another and establish interdependencies for additional analytics. Multiple data formats are integrated in the urban data platform to facilitate analytics and obtain insights for better decision-making.” He adds: “The latest urban digital twins are also including human behaviors and patterns, socioeconomic data and socio-demographic information with the aim to get to know their citizens better, evaluate potential risks and threats, then adapt the city to their needs and preferences.” However, says Ondiviela, one of the biggest advantages of a digital twin is that they can be used to rapidly develop solutions for overcoming challenges related to traffic, pollution, public transport infrastructure, utilities supply, security and more. “Digital twin simulation allows us to design cities that are resilient to climate change” JOSE ANTONIO ONDIVIELA, MICROSOFT In Porto, Portugal, digital twin technology has delivered multiple benefits relating to water management PUBLIC SECTOR