Auckland's real-time water quality monitoring app is set to be exported around the world as a multi-million dollar product.
A venture between Auckland Council and global engineering firm Mott MacDonald, announced this morning, would look to sell the Safeswim programme to other councils and regional authorities overseas.
Safeswim – itself a partnership between the council and, Surf Life Saving Northern Region and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service – allows people to check where and when they can swim before heading to the beach.
It provides real-time data on the performance of the wastewater and stormwater networks, forecasts of water quality, and up-to-the-minute advice on swimming conditions at nearly 100 sites around the region.
It was fed by data gathered by Mott MacDonald through its smart infrastructure platform, Moata.
By analysing weather and tidal data – and factoring in the risk of sewage overflow in different parts of the region – the water quality at each beach could be digitally predicted up to the second.
"Safeswim is a programme that for the first time in New Zealand highlighted accurately the breadth and frequency of poor water quality at our beaches," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said.
"The results gave momentum to our decision to invest at record levels in cleaning up our beaches over the next 10 years."
Goff said the venture would help other cities to protect their environment, while offering
the council a new multi-million dollar revenue stream.
There had already been interest from cities in Australia and North America.
As part of the partnership, Mott MacDonald will establish a new digital hub in Auckland at Grid AKL, with the aim of expanding its smart infrastructure across the Asia-Pacific region.
This would be the company's third digital hub, having established centres in Washington DC and London.