Mackay Regional Council has just signed a multi-million-dollar commercialisation deal with Australian technology company Taggle Systems.
The deal gives Taggle Systems the rights to council’s locally-developed smart-water application MiWater.
The MiWater suite of software was developed by council as part of its smart water initiative designed to use smart water meters and other sensors to identify leaks, engage with consumers, and reduce water consumption in the Mackay region.
Council began development of the MiWater software in 2014 and it is now used by more than 110,000 homes and businesses, making it the most successful smart water application in Australia.
The deal sees Taggle Systems acquire intellectual property rights of the MiWater software and the existing customer contracts.
Taggle will continue to support the software for council and other existing customers, while taking on the further development of the software and expanding its commercial use around Australia and the world.
Mackay Regional Council CEO, Craig Doyle, said he was extremely proud of the Council’s Water Services team for developing a program that allowed businesses to better manage their water consumption.
“The MiWater program identifies high consumption and water leaks in the network and relays this information to businesses and residents to help them conserve water and operate more efficiently,” Mr Doyle said.
“We look forward to seeing Taggle Systems take our home-grown innovation to the world.”
Taggle Systems managing director, John Quinn, said the deal was an exciting milestone for Taggle.
“Mackay has done a brilliant job of developing and commercialising MiWater and we look forward to furthering its success, both in Australia and worldwide,” he said.
The MiWater suite includes the myH2o website, used by more than 14,000 Mackay residents to keep track of their daily water consumption, which has been instrumental in helping the region conserve precious water resources.
This reduction in water demand has had a meaningful effect on the costs of water in Mackay, allowing council to defer the costs of a new water treatment plant for at least 10 years, with the savings passed onto residents.
The MiWater suite of software was also instrumental in Mackay winning the International Water Association’s Project Innovation Award in 2016, and the Queensland Water Award for Innovation in 2018 for waste-water monitoring.
In Mackay last year alone, the MiWater software helped identify and notify consumers of 35,000 water leaks, and Australia-wide has helped identify leaks totalling 6 billion litres of water.
“Taggle Systems plans to continue to expand the capability of the MiWater software to collect and analyse more types of data, and help utilities plan and monitor their assets, improve their operations and help them engage with households and businesses about their water consumption,” Mr Quinn said.
The MiWater software was developed in Mackay, on behalf of the council, by local IT company Tyeware, which employs 11 local staff in its Mackay office.
“This agreement will create economic benefit for the Mackay region and establishes a platform to take home-grown innovation to the rest of the world,” said Steven Tye, founder and managing director of Tyeware.
Taggle Systems will continue to work with Tyeware on the future development of the MiWater software and is already planning to demonstrate an internationalised version of MiWater at the American Water Works Association conference in Denver, Colorado, in June 2019.
Lauren Butler is the assistant editor for Utility Magazine. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia.