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  • by Trevor Loveday

Northumbrian Water signs data agreement with national underground infrastructure register

Northumbrian Water has signed a national data-sharing agreement for a digital map of utility underground assets which is “set to help keep utility workers safe and save the UK economy billions”.

The National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) was developed by a number of partners at the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival in 2018. It has since been turned into reality by the Geospatial Commission and engineering specialists Atkins.

The partnership includes a consortium of utilities and local authorities along with Ordnance Survey, 1Spatial and MGISS. NUAR was created to improve the efficiency and safety of excavations and will, according to Northumbrian Water: “Significantly reduce the probability of dangerous and costly utility strikes – helping keep utility workers safe while they are out in the field.”

In 2018, Northumbrian Water said it spent more than £1m repairing pipes that had been damaged by third parties, and it estimates that the cost to the UK’s economy of accidental strikes on underground assets is £2.4bn a year.

According to Northumbrian, NUAR will provide an interactive digital map of buried asset data, “which will be refreshed and kept up to date – making planning and executing excavations much easier for underground asset owners.”


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