A smart solution to sustainable water supply in Colombia

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Access to the supply of clean and safe water is one of the most important environmental issues facing the world today. It is estimated that within the next 10 years nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will experience water stress. In Colombia, over 40 percent of drinking water is lost on its journey from the water utility company to the point of use, due to leakages and inadequate infrastructure.

A start-up tech company called Greenywave has developed a novel device to reduce water leakage and improve infrastructure planning. Supported by Newton funding through the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowship programme, the company is already running several pilot projects with utility companies in three Colombian cities that supply water to over 950,000 people.

The invention connects existing water meter technology to the internet, creating a ‘smart’ water management device which generates online alerts in real time to warn users of leaks and measure water pressure. The data it collects can be used to avoid water waste, help people and companies save money, and ensure that water supply exceeds demand.

Greenywave’s team of innovators are now refining the technology and strengthening partnerships with utility companies and government organisations. As well as ensuring the sustainability of Colombia’s rapidly growing cities Greenywave plans to support other countries facing the same challenges. In the UK more than 20 percent of water is lost before it reaches homes. As a result of this collaboration, several UK utility companies have shown interest in the technology, demonstrating the potential reach of this project.

With Newton Fund’s support great things happened. Only eight months have passed, and we are already working on three utilities in Colombia.

Jimy Alexander Aguirre, Hardware Coordinator, Greenywave

Intelligent metering device for water, energy and other resources

Project lead: Jimy Alexander Aguirre, Hardware Coordinator, Greenywave

Delivery partners: Royal Academy of Engineering, Icetex and Ruta N

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