The City of Oslo’s drinking water comes from the nearby lakes of Maridalsvannet (photo) and Elvåga. From here, the City of Oslo uses around 100 million cubic metres of water for the city’s drinking water supply. Photo by: Wilhelm Joys Andersen.

A new state-of-the-art online model of Oslo’s water supply will help reduce a high level of leakage and resolve a serious water challenge, which is threatening the Norwegian capital’s future supply of drinking water.

In Oslo, 35 percent of the clean drinking water is lost on the way from waterworks to tap. The large volumes of drinking water seep out from leaks in the pipe network, and until now, focus on water losses in Norway has been limited.

Now the municipality of Oslo, which is responsible for the water supply in the Norwegian capital, has made an ambitious plan to reduce water losses and secure the future supply of clean drinking water to Oslo.

Real-time overview of more than 1,550 kilometres of water pipes

Until 2022, the City of Oslo will execute a five-stage plan to reduce leakage. The plan includes introducing a standardised method to calculate water losses, to divide the pipe network into smaller areas, to control and optimise pressure in the pipe network and to strengthen analysis and reporting of key performance indicators.

The goal is to bring the leakage level in Oslo down to 20 percent by 2030. Furthermore, a key component in this five-stage plan is to establish an advanced online model of the entire supply network, which comprises 1,550 kilometres of water pipes. It will provide the supply company with a real-time overview of the water’s flow through the drinking water system and the pressure level in the pipes.

State-of-the-art technology

As a consultant to the municipality of Oslo, NIRAS is establishing the online model – the Aquis system– which will cover all of the supply network’s water pipes. In addition to Aquis, the management information system HOMIS, which is developed by NIRAS, will be implemented. When the basic system is configured, the team of consultants will train the Norwegian technicians, so they themselves will be able to operate the system.

“This is not just a project delivery and then on to the next task. This is a long-term partnership, where we will help the City of Oslo during a period of at least four years to take a step closer to achieving a sustainable and future-proof water supply. The client has ambitious targets and has chosen to invest both time, money and resources – and we have the necessary tools and expertise. I find it very exciting,” says project manager with NIRAS Gitte Marlene Jansen.