Groundbreaking water meter app nominated for national awards

A new water meter app developed at Loughborough University has been shortlisted for two national awards.

tApp is a water management system that monitors home water usage, increases consumer awareness and reinforces water saving behaviour. It was created at Loughborough’s School of Business and Economics as part of a Europe-wide initiative motivated by global water shortages.

The system has been recognised for its potential impact with nominations in both academic and industry-facing awards.

It was announced today (7 September) that it is shortlisted in the International Impact Award category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017. Known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 30 November.

tApp is also nominated in the UK IT Industry Awards 2017 for the UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award. The announcement will be made in London on 15 November.

The water management system uses sensors attached to water appliances in the home to collect usage data. Consumers also receive water saving tips in order to improve household water consumption habits.

Led by Dr Lili Yang, Reader in the School of Business and Economics and her team alongside Loughborough’s Department of Computer Science, the development of the app started with an international scope.

It was tested with users in Greece and Poland over a three year period, and supported by the European Commission with an investment of €2.46 million. Initial findings have indicated that domestic water bills could be significantly reduced as a result of using the system.

Dr Yang said: “Assisted by our innovative, low cost and wireless sensing device – and the smartphone and tablet app – the pilot trial results in Poland and Greece show that every participating household expects to save 20% of their water consumption.

“If widely accepted by communities, not only could a significant contribution to tackling the world water crisis be achieved, but water management companies could be able to provide a smart and customised service with the most generic product – water.”

For the next phase of development, Dr Yang will introduce the tApp Living Lab at Loughborough University, where water management companies can test products using a live system.