Zednet was developed over a period of 10 years and was initially created as a series of separate software packages designed to assist water supply managers to understand and reduce water losses. It was initially aimed as a Zone Evaluation and Documentation system, "ZED" for short.

After several years the value of the system was evident and it was decided to combine the separate modules into a professional package and at the same time the capability of intercepting logging information from GSM or GPRS loggers was included. The package became more of a Data Acquisition, Display and Analysis package and quickly proved valuable to clients throughout South Africa particularly after it was integrated into a fully live internet package.

For two years the internet based Zednet package was used by many clients throughout South Africa to monitor, display and analyse various forms of data which were transmitted directly to servers and published immediately onto the internet. In this manner, the Clients could access their data in tabular or graphical format directly through the internet. For practical purposes the information is not effectively “live” in that the data transfer is undertaken either daily or every 6 hours.

This was part of the design methodology which allows the logging equipment to operate for more than 5 years on a single battery supply without any external power. Shorter download times can be accommodated, however, for most practical applications this is not necessary and will simply reduce the battery life of the logging unit without adding any real benefit.

In October of 2011 a complete re-design of Zednet was completed which now incorporates flexible charting, dynamic grid based data views and GIS capability where Google or Open Streetmap is used as the standard background unless the client prefers to use its own satellite images. The new version of Zednet has greater flexibility with regard to both graphical display and how information is arranged and is based on open technology and standards that make it simpler to extend and integrate.

Zednet does not aim to compete with some of the large commercial packages that are available and is designed to provide key functionality in a user-friendly manner. It was designed specifically to support WDM specialists in order to identify and reduce water losses in potable water distribution systems. In spite - or perhaps because of "keeping it simple," the Zednet toolset has become useful beyond this initial goal:

  • Bulk or industrial consumers are finding it a good fit to monitor their water use,
  • it serves well as an Automatic Meter Reading platform,
  • and its use has been expanded beyond WDM to monitor water quality, weather, pump status and a host of other things.

For more on the diverse uses the toolkit has been put to: existing deployments