At the Mayor’s Fair, elected officials rush for water management solutions

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At the Mayor's Fair, elected officials rush for water management solutions

The fair of mayors and local authorities will take place in Paris until 24 November. With the drought this summer and the current energy crisis, water management is winning.

Nearly fifty French communities are still subject to a water restriction order in this month of November 2022. The drought that raged in the summer continues to worry elected officials. This was felt in the exchanges and demonstrations at the Fair of Mayors and Local Authorities, which will be held in Paris (Porte de Versailles) from 22 to 24 November.

At the stand of Birdz, Veolia’s IoT subsidiary, Xavier Meistermann, key account manager, explains that a few weeks ago, a city in Brittany was still wondering whether it was necessary to cut off access to drinking water. “The groundwater tables have not been replenished. It is surface water that is pumped up and in large cities, such as Saint-Brieuc or Rennes for example, this may not be enough to provide drinking water. This is also the case in Nantes, where more and more salt water is mixed with fresh water , hindering the supply of drinking water, hence the need to measure and monitor water quality through IoT.”

Water management solutions and leak detection sensors have attracted attention. “Between 20 and 30% of the water in the French network is lost, so elected officials love these offers because the French network is old and poorly mapped,” confirms Stéphanie Gay-Torrente, director of the show. Plumbing company Flovea stood out with its Connected Flowbox solution for water consumption management. “Water monitoring makes it possible to detect leaks and anticipate building decay, because an aging building causes leakage,” explains Nicolas Steinmetz, CIO of the company, while – ironically – closely observing how one of his stand neighbors mop up minor water damage.

“Putting water in the reservoirs is very energy intensive”

Water management is also associated with the energy crisis. “Putting water into reservoirs is very energy intensive. With the current price of energy, communities do not want to produce water only to lose almost a quarter of it,” emphasizes Eric Laumonier, head of sales at Leakmited, a French company characterized by its AI for the detect water leaks. A view shared by Stéphane Gervais, executive VP of strategic innovation & smart data of French equipment manufacturer Lacroix: “Leaks are not just wasted water, but also treatments, energy and transport that are carried out for nothing.” The same story on the stand of Saur, drinking water supplier, one of the largest exhibitors at the fair.

One of the novelties this year at the Fair of Mayors and Local Authorities is the highlighting of territorial satellite applications. Five start-ups were called to testify about their use of satellite imagery. Here, too, the issue of water is central to the presentations. “We specialize in fighting environmental damage by using satellite imagery and AI, especially to detect illegal dumping of waste near waterways that could pollute them,” explains Anthony Graveline, CEO of Disaitek , from. The company Vortex.io from Toulouse, in turn, wants to create a digital twin of waterways to monitor the risks of flooding or drought via the Internet of Things and satellite.

By making water the strong trend of the show, with urban mobility as the highlight in pavilion 3, the Mayors and Local Authorities Show has done well. “There are a lot more people than last year, the economic situation makes all players stingy with energy-related solutions,” explains Pierre Royer, smart city business manager at Pyrescom. Stéphanie Gay-Torrente expects more than 50,000 visitors over three days, 10% more than in 2021. The exhibitor section, with 1,200 participating companies, is growing by 12%.

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