About the Project


Water supply systems (WSS) are large-scale systems that abstract, treat and transport water over vast geographical areas to consumers being crucial a safe and efficient operation of these systems. These systems leads to significant environmental impacts due to huge amount of energy consumed, GHG emissions, and water leakages. Current control systems are designed to deliver water not to provide water efficiently. Besides that, water networks operation and management still relies on the utilities accumulated experience, which made arise a question “if the water supply systems are most of the times inefficient, why aren’t utilities already implementing advanced approaches such as the ones being proposed in LIFE SWSS?”.


Therefore, LIFE SWSS project emerged from the following project drivers:

  • Energy Intensive consumption of WSS and respective EU targets for 2020 (EU Energy Climate Package, known as 20-20-20 targets”.
  • Water losses (Leakage) – Common problem in water supply systems, undermining water-resource efficiency, and related to Flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy and Water Framework Directive (WFD).
  • Difficulty in taking the Step Forward – As strongly emphasized in The Economist, Special Report on Smart Systems (4/11/2010) “… today water distribution systems are still essentially networks of dumb pipes.”
  • To solve these common issues, is missing to water utilities and their supply chain an integrated platform that will enable efficient operational management and decision support (SWSS platform).


The project aims to demonstrate an innovative platform (SWSS) for management and decision support for water supply systems (WSS) under real working conditions. The SWSS platform will be composed by five modules:(1) Predictive, (2) Hydraulic simulation, (3) Assessment , (4) Leakage and (5) Optimization , which together will support the water companies to improve energy efficiency and water efficiency in their systems. The SWSS modules are based on previous developments from consortium partners, which will be integrated in one single platform in this project. The SWSS platform will be demonstrated in 3 demonstration WSS,  which were selected due to their distinctive characteristics and instrumentation level.

SWSS Abordagem

The overall methodology to be applied in LIFE SWSS comprises the following steps:

  • Survey of the demonstration systems to characterize actual operational conditions and to collect relevant parameters to be used in SWSS modules. These parameters will be collected using portable measurement equipment.
  • Application of SWSS modules into the demonstration systems, which will imply customization and validation of the SWSS modules for each one.
  • Implementation of reverse pumping in gravity systems
  • Implementation of SWSS platform will involve integration of SWSS modules, training of supervisors from WSS to its utilization and then place it into operation on the 3 demonstration systems.
  • Evaluation of energy and water savings produced on the demonstration systems by performing Measurement and Verification (M&V) according with international protocol IPMVP. In order to proper perform M&V it will be necessary to install complementary monitoring equipment (listed at demonstration character of the project section) and to integrate it on existing SCADA systems.
  • Elaboration of transferability guidelines which will provide guidance on implementation of the SWSS platform in other WSS..
  • Socio- economic assessment will be performed in order to evaluate the impacts of SWSS in local economy, citizens and companies.
  • Communication and dissemination of project results considers the follow activities: creation of website, layman report, notice boards, organization of national workshops (5 ), organization of a stakeholders exchange forum (6) active participation in national and European conferences (8) and trade fairs (3), networking with on-going projects and elaboration of dissemination material (press releases, brochures, leaflets and newsletters).


LIFE SWSS has the following main objectives:

1.Create an innovative management and decision support platform (SWSS), based on five modules previously developed by consortium partners: (1) Predictive module, (2) Hydraulic simulation module, (3) Assessment module, (4) Leakage module and (5) Optimization module,

2.Demonstrate SWSS platform on three demonstration water supply systems under real working conditions,

3.Decrease the energy consumption (2,6 GWh in total), associated GHG emissions (1.243 ton CO2 eq in total) and water leakage (276.000 m3 in total) by implementing the SWSS platform in the demonstration systems and by implementing reverse-pump for energy recovery (renewable energy) in gravity systems ;

4.Implementation of reverse pumping in gravity system (renewable energy)

5.Dissemination of project achievements


Main achievements until December 2018

Action B6 SWSS Platform:

The implementation of the SWSS platform in the AdA system was finalised. A training workshop for AdA’s operators was held on 12 November 2018. The implementation of the SWSS platform has been done for EPAL’s Centre and West systems using historical data as the online connection was not yet available.
Action C2 M & V:

M&V reports for AdA and EPAL West were produced using data from 2017.
The M&V app development was finalised in April 2018.

Action C.3 Socio-Economic assessment

This action is still in progress. The aim is to evaluate the impact of the project’s actions on the local economy and population served by the water supply companies, namely EPAL Centre, EPAL West and AdA. The work so far has been focused on collecting data and information, e.g. energy costs data, water tariffs that applies for each of the demonstration sites, water costs for the population served by those systems, that will allow us to make the assessment. Those data are being collected for the years that the project is running.

Action C.4 Transferability Guidelines

This action is completed. The output of this action is the deliverable “Guidelines to implement the SWSS platform on Water Supply Systems”, which was finalised in December 2018.

This report describes the assessment of the replication potential of the SWSS platform to other national and international water utilities. The report presents an overview of the water services sector, the description of the proposed replication methodology and the identification of the main barriers to its implementation in other water systems.

Action D4 Project dissemination Activities:

Several dissemination activities were carried out namely project presentations in seminars and conferences. The first version of the brochure was produced. Two papers were published on journals and an article was published on the ICT4WATER newsletter.

Action D5. Networking with other LIFE and/or non-LIFE projects

LIFE SWSS became a member of the ICT4WATER cluster and was present at the ICT4 Water Cluster booth at the ICT2019 conference in Vienna, which was held on 3-6 December 2018. LIFE SWSS was represented at the final event of the “Projeto de Capacitação Nacional – LIFE14 CAP/PT/000004” on 6-7 December 2018 at Lisbon



Main achievements until March 2018

Actions B1 – B5  are complete.

Action B6 SWSS Platform: The implementation of the SWSS platform in the AdA system is underway and should be completed in April.
Action C2 M & V: The preliminary report “Report with baselines of demonstration systems”, with the information available on the demonstration systems of AdA, EPAL Center and West was completed.
APP M & V continues to be developed and is expected to be completed by April 2018.

Action D4 Project dissemination Activities

  • LIFE SWSS was presented on 11 September 2017 by Marco Estrela with an oral presentation at the “Innovative Water Saving Solutions” workshop organized by the Less-Water Bev.Tech project during the DRINKTEC International Fair in Munich, Germany.
    LIFE SWSS was announced at the Porto Water Innovation Week / Water Match / EIP Water Conference, September 28-29, 2017, at a booth at the event fair. A poster “Energy efficiency in water supply systems” was presented by João P. Ribau and Tiago Luna (ISQ) A second poster “Energy recovery using pumps running the turbines” was presented by Laura Monteiro (IST) Tiago Luna also gave an oral presentation of the LIFE SWSS project.
  • The 3rd Workshop LIFE SWSS and the 3rd SEF were held on October 25, 2017 in the Algarve.
  • An oral communication, “Smart Water Supply Systems. Optimization of energy management in water supply systems, “was made by João P. Ribau (ISQ) at the INEGI Workshop on Intelligent Energy Networks, INEGI, Porto, Portugal, 11.11.2017.
  • LIFE SWSS was disseminated at ENEG 2017, from November 21 to 24, 2017, in Évora. Laura Monteiro (IST) gave an oral presentation entitled “Water losses and energy efficiency in adductor systems”. Pedro Póvoa (AdTA) also made an oral presentation titled “Platform for decision support through the forecast of consumption in supply systems”.
  • Ricardo Rato (ISQ) presented the LIFE SWSS project at the “Challenges of Water” event organized by AdA from 1 to 2 March in Albufeira, Algarve.
  • The 3rd visit to the project took place on March 13, 2018, at ISQ.
  • The 4th SEF took place on March 23, 2018 at IST, Lisbon


Main achievements until June 2017

Actions B1 – B.4 have been completed.

Action B5 Optimization Module: the development of the module is still running. Good results have been achieved with the tested network. Upscaling to a larger network is the next step. A segment from AdA “Sotavento” system will be used for that purpose.

Action B6 SWSS platform:  the implementation of the SWSS platform in the AdA system is underway.

Action C2 M&V: A draft report of deliverable “Report with baselines of demonstration systems” was elaborated with the information available from AdA system. The analysis of the Centre and West systems are underway and should be completed in the next weeks.

Regarding the M&V App, AdP and HIDROMOD will continue its development. The deadline for completing it is 30 September 2017.

Action D4 Project dissemination activities

  • IST submitted a paper to the CCWI 2017 conference (Computing and Control for the Water Industry, that will take place in September, at Sheffield (UK)
  • IST will submit a paper to ENEG, November, Évora (deadline for submission is end of June
  • LIFE SWSS workshop + SEF: will take place on 25th October 2017 in the Algarve.


SWSS Platform