Yorkshire Water has pledged to become the first ‘open data’ water company, as part of its bid to become more transparent and to boost performance.
Open data is data that anyone can access, use or share. By 2020, Yorkshire aims to make all its operational and service data open, excluding personal identifiable data and information with security implications. It has partnered with the Leeds Open Data Institute to make this happen.
Yorkshire will begin in March by releasing all its leakage data relating to the past 12 months and by holding a workshop for data users on 24 March. Between March and May it will also release pollution incident data from the last five years, and new leakage data derived from acoustic devices which listen to the flow of water inside water mains. It plans to hold a hackathon in May for experts to crunch this data. It will also engage with the public and data users to plan a two-year programme of data releases until it reaches the ‘open by default’ position in 2020.
Richard Flint, chief executive at Yorkshire Water, said: “By sharing data sets through Leeds ODI we want to encourage data scientists and analysts to become something akin to citizen auditors who are able to openly and freely monitor our performance and hold us to account.
“By 2020, it is our aim that all our operational data will be available for public scrutiny. This approach will also expand intelligence of our infrastructure, helping us to predict and prevent incidents, such as leakage, which is what our customers demand and deserve. We also want to collaborate with other agencies and authorities in the region to see if our data can be combined with theirs to benefit the communities we all serve.”