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Now Israeli drones to detect leaky water pipes

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) An Israeli firm has claimed to have developed a new device which would detect leakage in water pipes more efficiently and save the resource up to 20 percent.

The three-foot drone-shaped device can quickly size up water metres and identify leaks in the system. It can save up to a fifth of urban water lost due to leaking pipes.

Unlike traditional leak monitors used in the US, the two-pound drone equipped with a leak detector can be controlled through a laptop and it can detect leakage from 900 feet above the ground.

‘Our system actually sees the leaks. It’s a water metre detector with a leak-detecting alarm inside the metre. Transmitting every 11 seconds, when the drone flies over the area, it can pick up leak alarms,’ said Dan Winter, CEO of Arad Group which has developed the device.

The company is in contact with India, the US and Britain for the widespread deployment of the machine, said an Israeli embassy release here Tuesday.

The firm claimed that the new device was easier to operate than the common leak monitor which requires to be moved door-to-door on a vehicle to measure possible leaks.

‘This approach is labour-intensive, some of us don’t appreciate a lurking vehicle in our private communities, and estimates aren’t as accurate as they could be because of the lag time between reports,’ Winter said.

But, the new solution is 25 percent less expensive and can remotely transmit information about leaks to a base station. ‘It’s a cost effective solution,’ he added.

According to the World Bank, water escaping through leaks accounts for some $14 billion in lost revenues every year. And most of the wastage of resources takes place in developed countries.

For a city of 50,000 homes, Arad’s drone and software would cost about $100,000 and the specialised water metre needed to communicate with it would cost about $130 per home.

The drone can fly for about 90 minutes before it needs recharging. And it can be used for other purposes such as surveillance camera and traffic jam monitors.

‘You could take it to places where there have been accidents, or to monitor traffic jams when you want to know the reason,’ says Winter, adding that the system can also be used for security surveillance.

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