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Utilities unite to develop digital twin to combat flooding

Flooding in Nottingham in 2013 (image: Wikimedia Commons/Chris Sampson87).

Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks are partnering with the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) to develop a digital twin that will help make those utilities more resilient to the extremes of global warming.

Known as the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo), the project looks at the impact of flooding caused by climate change on energy, water and telecoms networks. It will demonstrate how those who own and operate them can use secure information sharing, across sector boundaries, to mitigate the effect of flooding on network performance and ensure reliable service delivery to customers.​

Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks will use their asset and operations data combined with data supplied by the Met Office to inform an increased level of infrastructure resilience. ​

Using an information management framework (IMF) approach, which is being developed through the NDTp, CReDO will enable the partners to share data across a secure platform. 

CReDo will demonstrate the capability of the IMF approach to connect digital twins in a principled, scalable way to inform decision-making in capital and operational planning, reducing the cost and disruptive impact of extreme weather events and increasing resilience. This collaborative project will demonstrate the potential of a national digital twin to deliver beneficial outcomes for people and the planet.​

The project will be delivered through a collaboration of research centres and industry partners: the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Newcastle and Warwick will work alongside the Hartree Centre, the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, CMCL Innovations, the Joint Centre of Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and Mott MacDonald. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Connected Places Catapult and the University of Cambridge.​

Sarah Hayes, CReDo project lead and author of the landmark report Data for the Public Good, said:​ “We are really excited for what we can deliver through CReDo: demonstration that connected digital twins can enable increased climate resilience and that collaboration across a team that spans industry, academia and government forms the pieces of the puzzle that unlock solutions to reaching net zero.”​

The NDTp and partners will launch CReDo with a webinar for COP26 on 2 November.

To find out more, visit the CReDo website.

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