"ArcGIS has enabled us to solve our water leakage issues and continuously monitor our progress, no matter where we are in the world."
Water Leakage App Increases Suppliers Revenue and Cuts Workforce Requirements
Gabon is a central African country with a population of two million. Its water and energy supply rely solely on the national company Societé d'Energie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG). Managing these important resources for an entire country includes securing the functionality of the networks. With a total length of 5,154 km (3,203 miles) for electricity and 2,157 km (1,340 miles) for water, Gabon's supply lines need continuous attention.
User - SEEG, Gabon's National Water and Electricity Provider
Challenge - Leakage in the water line network was causing water loss and reduced revenue, calling for a monitoring and reporting system based on GIS.
Solution - An application for computers and handheld devices was developed using Portal for ArcGIS, Web GIS, and ArcGIS Web AppBuilder.
Result - Required labor was cut by half, water leakage reduced, data security increased, efficiency improved, and revenue nearly doubled.
SEEG was alarmed when a significant loss of water was detected in the lines of Gabon's Estuaire province, situated at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. More than 50 percent of the 81 million m3 of water didn't reach its customers, mainly because of leaking pipelines.
Esri's support and geographic information system (GIS) technology helped SEEG to optimize detection and repair of pipe leaks on the Grand Libreville water network by significantly reducing response times and enabling reliable performance monitoring.
SEEG needed to successfully locate, classify, and fix leakage of pipelines. To achieve this, well-equipped field agents were needed just as much as the implementation of automated data processing. SEEG staff used Google Sheets and paper duplicates to manage their systems. This resulted in too much time consumed by elaborately extracting information from customer databases and sharing via paper products. The data produced was already outdated by the time it was provided to field agents. On top of that, there was no means for swift and secure data sharing.
With a relatively small workforce, it was imperative for SEEG to bring the collection and processing of data to a whole new level. It needed an easily and equally accessible tool, enabling workers to track and record data in real time.
In a first step, all existing location information underwent a thorough review. The GIS implementation then started with the publishing of geospatial data to Portal for ArcGIS, linking location information with precise GIS cartography based on the positions of substations and the utility poles which SEEG field agents are using for orientation. Additionally, the city of Libreville was sectorized into six major areas and split in six intervention teams, each consisting of four field agents.
Today, each field team is equipped with a mobile device and 4G internet connection, receiving locations and repair instructions via the ArcGIS Workforce mobile tool. They receive their schedule from another team, consisting of seven agents, entering data of leaks in a web interface developed with ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, centralizing and mapping them. Leakage alerts automatically go out to the field teams through a call center named Hello Leak. Now the field agents can locate and repair the leak, modifying the status on ArcGIS Collector.
Functions like field agent assignment schedules and statistical tracking were implemented to additionally enhance strategic efficiency. Comprehensible visualizations now document all fixed leaks and pending repairs in digital maps and tables.
Today, SEEG staff have access to a state-of-the-art, centralized, secured, and continuously updated database. At any given moment, they are able to access data for technical issues, repairs, scheduled inspections, and field assignments. Every field agent can upload leakage information in real time with a handheld device, allowing for the monitoring team to intervene accordingly. After five months of using Esri technology, leak management is done in real time, saving significant volumes of water and substantially improving water supply on a number of underserved areas.