Digital tool lets Atkins design 170km of water pipework fast for thirsty Nepal

The first task was to map pipework to serve 15,000 people in rural wards with no existing service (©WaterAid/Nishant Gurung)
Engineering and design consultant Atkins, part of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has quickly generated layout plans for 170km of new water pipework in Nepal, improving supply and hygiene for thousands of people.

Atkins did the work to support Anglian Water’s charitable contribution to WaterAid’s Beacon Project, which aims to provide clean water for the fast-growing town of Lahan – population 100,000 – in south-eastern Nepal.

It used its “NetCreate” digital tool, which draws on Geographic Information System datasets to automatically create outline water networks, devising the shortest route from water sources to demand points.

Atkins’ outline scheme for pipework in the rural wards (Courtesy of Atkins)

The company first mapped out 73km of pipework to serve some 15,000 people in three rural wards with no existing service. Atkins’ proposal assumes three water towers to feed this network.

Then it mapped 99km of pipework to serve some 42,000 people in urban wards by 2030. These wards are currently underserved by a 66km network suitable for 14,000 people.

NetCreate allowed Atkins to create this blueprint in three months.

“Incredibly valuable” was how James Gelsthorpe, senior optimisation engineer at Anglian Water described the tool.

WaterAid programme manager Hannah Gray said it would help Nepalese water authorities to target their limited resources more efficiently.

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