28 March 2022 / Vienna, Austria
Utility Management Training: World Premiere for the Network Operations Module
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
28 March 2022

The Utility Management Training (UMT) is the new holistic, eight module training concept that “equips” current and future water-sector managers with tools and techniques to support their decision-making. The class of 2021/22 will be the first to graduate, and with every module, the UMT breaks new ground. On 14-18 March, the first Network Operations Module took place, and participants describe it as an exciting hands-on experience.

The UMT Network Operations module (NO) provides a 360-degree view on network management from a range of perspectives, from asset planning and investments to design, water-loss reduction and cost control. The key focus is on operations techniques and structuring of proactive network functions. This module provides a broad understanding of the logic and types of transmission and networks distribution, their design criteria and key planning considerations.

It treats the types of water supply assets and moves from there to process-related and control aspects of setting up a control room. Another topic are proactive and reactive activities including the practicalities of organizing in-house repair depots, etc. Next, the NO module pays some attention to Sewer Networks – the sanitation aspect of water utilities. With both water and sanitation networks are covered, the module moves into Budgeting and Control, with an emphasis on how Network Operations is structured as a cost centre, the key cost drivers (energy, salaries, materials) and how they can be effectively controlled.

Finally, the module treats practical issues like zoning, monitoring and water balances. The topic of monitoring naturally leads to Non-Revenue Water (NRW), from leak-detection to water quality monitoring.  Participants from various utilities share their practical experiences and technology providers demonstrate the latest trends and technologies.

The module held its premiere “real-world” in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Bansko, Bulgaria, with the commendable support of Sofia University as our academic partner, Sofia Water and Blagoevgrad Water as utility hosts, Siemens and s::can as our competence partners who contributed excellent inputs and state-of-the-art technology, and IAWD member Qubiqo as module development partner.

Highlights were the site visits at the Sofia Water's Bistritza potable water treatment plant with its high end water quality laboratory and control room, the Sofia Water sewer department, and presentations by Siemens about the state-of-the-art control room at Vienna Water and by s::can GmbH on remote monitoring of water quality at network level and water quality monitoring in sewer networks.

Those who would have liked to be there and want to inquire about the Utility Management Training are encouraged to follow the link below to all the available information and to contact office@d-leap.org to discuss their participation in the second issue of the Utility Management Training.