Acqua, Papaleo (Acea): “Smart management of networks for the protection of water resources”

The group is among the companies awarded by Arera through the analysis of 6 macro indicators: quality of the supplied and purified water, adequacy of the sewage system, disposal of sludge, water losses and service interruptions.

Quality of supplied and purified water, adequacy of the sewage system, disposal of sludge, water losses and service interruptions: through these 6 macro-indicators, the water service operators were analyzed by Arera, the Regulatory Authority for Energy Networks and Environment, which for the results achieved and consolidated in 2018 and 2019 attributed bonuses and penalties to the managers.

Among the companies awarded are those of the Acea Group. As explained to Adnkronos Giovanni Papaleo, Acea’s Chief Operating Officer: “The companies of the Acea Group that have had access to the bonuses foreseen for 2018-2019 are almost all, in particular we received a recognition of 26 million euros for fully consolidated companies within the Group. This was a source of particular pride for the Acea Group, which is also the leading national water operator “. Not only that: “The reward we have obtained is also the most significant share awarded to an Italian water manager and this confirms the correctness of the path we have taken in the governance and management of our networks”.

A recognition obtained thanks to “two fundamental factors: the first is the great professionalism of the people who work in our Group, the other is the completion of the digitization of our networks. We started with a pushed digitization about three years ago, to date they have almost completed this process which has led to the inclusion of many Iot sensors on our networks: this allows us to have a series of data available that have changed the management of networks making a Real Time approach possible “.

Added to this is the creation of “a new ‘Protection of water resource’ department that deals with managing all these issues of improving the efficiency of our performance along the water production process”.

On the other hand, a correct management of the water resource today appears even more necessary in light of the effects of climate change. “The period 2018-2021 was characterized by a strong drought and also in 2022, in these first five months, we had very little rainfall: in the direction ‘Protection of water resources’ all the sources we have available and their recharging methods – continues Papaleo – The main source of Rome, for example, is the Peschiera aqueduct which has a recharge cycle that goes from six to nine months. So we are able to have projections with respect to water availability that span 2-3 years and to secure ourselves against events that we do not govern such as rain, as well as guaranteeing an adequate reserve of water to meet the needs of a cities like Rome “.

Therefore, “on the one hand an analysis of the dynamics of recharging water sources and on the other a much more careful management of our networks which has led to a reduction in losses and a much more efficient management. We have also equipped ourselves with a tool that we patented in Acea, the Water Management System, through which we collect the data of the sensors positioned on our network and we are able to intercept a series of phenomena that allow us to reduce losses, to operate at pressures management of the network and to feed different neighborhoods of our cities in different ways. Thanks to this new system that we have made available to our companies in the last two years, we are making big steps forward in protecting the water resource “.