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02/22/2024

Creating Digital Resilience With Weather Data

Automated Weather Data Dashboards Help Scottish Water Plan for the Impacts of Severe Weather Events

Akemi Narindal Aoki - Digital Marketing Manager
Dr. Akemi Narindal-Aoki
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

As weather conditions directly impact the water industry, Scottish Water heavily relies on weather data for a range of operational needs. In this article, discover how the company is using the Meteomatics Weather API to build automated PowerBI dashboards, resulting in more efficient and time-saving reporting and analysis.

Scottish Water Serves Over 5.3 Million People Across Scotland

Scottish Water is a statutory utility company that provides water and sewerage services to over 5.3 million customers across Scotland. It is responsible for collecting, treating, and delivering drinking water to homes and businesses, as well as collecting and treating wastewater.

As weather conditions directly impact the water industry, Scottish Water heavily relies on weather data for a range of operational needs. These include:

  • Operational Planning and Resilience: Utilising weather forecasts to prepare for weather-related impacts, such as leakage events caused by freeze/thaw conditions or power outages caused by storm events, affecting both water and wastewater assets.
  • Planning for impacts on Water Quantity and Quality: Tracking storms, rainfall events, wind, and drought to inform water management strategies.
  • Managing Water Demand: Anticipating and planning response to increases in water usage during hot weather and the impacts of cold weather.
scottish water van
Paul rodgers
Paul Rodgers
Strategic Planner, Water Resources
Scottish Water
The Meteomatics Weather API stood out as the most comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly API service available. Its flexibility allows us to integrate it into various systems easily.

Scottish Water Needed To Centralise Weather Data Management

Weather data is crucial for Scottish Water's operations, yet for an extended period, individual teams independently sourced data from over 40 distinct sources without a centralised management system. This approach often resulted in data duplication and inefficiencies, making it challenging for end-users to access and discern the most relevant data.

Caroline Olbert, Resilience and Security Manager at Scottish Water, tells us that her team used to receive weather data in CSV files delivered via email. “It was a time-consuming manual process”, she explains, “After receiving the file via email, my team had to copy and paste the data into an Excel dashboard.”

An internal survey involving 55 teams revealed the necessity for more accessible and reliable data to enhance forecasting and operational planning.

Meteomatics Enables Scottish Water To Build Automated PowerBI and Excel Dashboards

After a comprehensive evaluation, Scottish Water concluded that the Meteomatics Weather API was the most suitable solution for centralising their weather data processing. “The Meteomatics Weather API stood out as the most comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly API service available. Its flexibility allows us to integrate it into various systems easily,” stated Paul Rodgers, Strategic Planner within the Water Resources team.

Scottish Water leveraged the Weather API’s data to develop automated Power BI and Excel dashboards, significantly enhancing the usability and accessibility of weather data to staff across the business. These dashboards, running data in the background, eliminate the need for manual data extraction, ensuring timely access to critical information.

Caroline Olbert
Caroline Olbert
Resilience and Security Manager
Scottish Water
The dashboard allows us to share weather information easily across the business and inform both short and long-term decisions to protect our customers from the impacts of disruptive weather events.

Automated Weather Data Dashboards Help Scottish Water Respond to Severe Weather Events

The Power BI Dashboard delivers a comprehensive 10-day forecast covering 50 locations across Scotland, providing an overview of upcoming weather conditions, including rainfall, wind, heatwaves, freezing temperatures, and potential snow impacts.

By focusing on winter freeze events and storm occurrences, the Resilience and Security team can effectively identify short-to-medium-term events that may have an operational impact. By combining Meteomatics’ forecasts with weather warnings issued by the UK Met Office, the team can determine the most appropriate operational response or emergency plan.

Caroline Olbert explained that “We use the Power BI Dashboard to closely monitor temperature trigger levels and when thaw events are likely to occur. If the temperature drops below a certain threshold and remains below freezing for several days, we initiate a freeze response. We also track temperature rises, as demand surges during hot periods, necessitating operational planning, such as deploying water tankers to specific areas impacted by high customer demand. The dashboard allows us to share weather information easily across the business and inform both short and long-term decisions to protect our customers from the impacts of disruptive weather events.

At its core, automating the weather data monitoring process and preparing for severe weather events aims to minimise disruptions and ensure Scottish Water has the appropriate operational response in place for such events. By proactively taking measures, Scottish Water can effectively maintain water and wastewater supplies for their customers.

powerbi report with meteomatics data
PowerBI report with Meteomatics data: This weather dashboard with 10-day forecasts show a summary count of forecast locations exceeding pre-defined warning thresholds for daily rainfall (>20mm), snow (>0.1cm), freezing temperatures (<0 degrees C), heatwave temperatures (>25 degrees C) and wind gusts (>50mph).


PowerBI report with Meteomatics data
PowerBI report with Meteomatics data: 10-day forecast table of daily rainfall totals for all 50 locations.


PowerBI report with Meteomatics data
PowerBI report with Meteomatics data: Map and table view of daily rainfall totals by selected date.

The Centralised Weather Data System Will Increasingly Support Scottish Water’s Activities

At Meteomatics, we are thrilled to witness our products consistently fulfilling their promise – a user-friendly system that swiftly delivers high-quality weather data.

We are enthusiastic about witnessing the future development of Scottish Water's use of our data as more and more staff seek to utilise weather data effectively in their analysis and modeling endeavors.

With the rise of data science and big data, the water industry is poised for a transformative period, offering innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges. Predictive modeling, real-time monitoring, risk assessment and mitigation, water quality optimisation, reservoir management, flood forecasting and mitigation, and water conservation and demand management are just a few of the ways data science can improve water resource management and protect public safety.

Whether it is for improving water quality, enhancing resilience planning, or driving innovation in other areas, we are dedicated to providing Scottish Water with the tools and resources they need to achieve success.

Meteomatics’ Solutions for the Water Industry

With our comprehensive weather data and forecasting capabilities, we can assist countries regardless of their management approaches by providing crucial information to optimise water allocation, plan for droughts and floods, and enhance overall water resource management strategies, ensuring sustainable and efficient use of this vital resource.

Akemi Narindal Aoki - Digital Marketing Manager
Dr. Akemi Narindal-Aoki
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

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