Its Kielder reservoir is the largest manufactured reservoir in Northern Europe. Northumbrian Water Group has more than 25,000km of water mains, 57 water treatment works, and 338 water service reservoirs.


Northumbrian Water Group was the first water utility in the European Community to implement SUEZ AQUADVANCED® Energy* software throughout its network, NWS, which targets sustainable energy cost savings and operational efficiencies and water quality improvements.

Looking for better ways to control, manage and anticipate energy costs

The utility group saw SUEZ’s AQUADVANCED® Energy* as a means to achieving all of it. As the most significant project carried out by SUEZ to date at the time, AQUADVANCED® Energy* deployment would result in energy cost savings for NWG of around £1 million a year, primarily through more efficient pump scheduling.


With energy being the second-highest cost after labour for a water utility, AQUADVANCED® Energy* also provided highly accurate state-of-the-art modelling, outputting data that could be used to negotiate more favourable terms in long-term energy contracts. Furthermore, projections showed there would be operational benefits from supporting individual operators with a powerful software tool designed to enable consistent and predictable operation.


  • AQUADVANCED was selected in 2010 via OJ EU.
  • It was initially implemented in Essex.
  • The performance evaluation for the project in Essex was completed with very positive results, leading to NWL extending its implementation to the rest of the network.
  • AQUADVANCED has already been implemented in 90% of NWL’s network, with the remaining 10% awaiting SCADA update.

The results

Northumbrian Water’s Network Control Manager, Mick Baker, confirmed that AQUADVANCED® Energy* delivered.


According to Baker, “I think the energy cost savings from AQUADVANCED® Energy* tend to be highlighted because these savings can be quantified and at a Board level drive acceptance of the business case… But it is about a lot more than just energy optimisation. The other less tangible benefits of AQUADVANCED® Energy* — such as better water quality and more consistent operational control — are making a major impact.”


The change was a significant challenge. Implementing a whole new system required substantial cultural shifts within the company, which influenced how they viewed and operated both treatment plants and the water network as a whole. Facing 12 operators who each have network control, AQUADVANCED® Energy* also proved to be a powerful means of ensuring operations consistency — steadying network performance, enhancing reservoir management and turnover, and thus improving water quality. The software analysed in real-time and processed an optimum network solution every 30 minutes, increasing efficiency.

* is now known as AQUADVANCED® Water Supply

actual savings at Essex alone
more savings made than projected
million projected annual energy cost savings