Technology monitor: Pipe dreams | The Economist

Though water is cheap, it is not free. According to a report published by the Bank in 2006, leaks even then were costing $14 billion a year. But to plug a leak you have to find it. Water mains are hard to inspect, particularly if they are underground. Many are old and thus decrepit. And outright theft is not unheard of, as the poor seek to fill their drinking vessels and the rich their swimming pools. An effective way of detecting leaks, both accidental and deliberate, would therefore be welcome.

TaKaDu, a firm based near Tel Aviv, thinks it has one. The problem, in the view of its founder, Amir Peleg, is not a lack of data per se, but a lack of analysis. (...)

TaKaDu’s engineers have therefore developed a monitoring system called a statistical anomaly detection engine that is intended to identify clues in the data which might otherwise be missed.