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The National Underground Asset Register (NUAR)

The Geospatial Commission is building a digital map of underground pipes and cables that will revolutionise the way we install, maintain, operate and repair our buried infrastructure - the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR).

Each year, 4 million holes are dug (around 1 every 7 seconds) to install, fix and maintain the pipes and wires buried underground - assets that are critical in keeping the water running, gas and electricity flowing and our telecommunications lines connected. It is widely reported approximately 1 in every 65 holes dug results in an accidental asset strike (c. 60,000 a year), which is estimated to cost around £2.4 billion pa to businesses and the wider economy.

Asset owners are legally required to make their data available to statutory undertakers and those with sufficient interest free of charge. However, obtaining it requires contacting multiple sources, with the data provided in different formats, scales and to varying timeframes. This process is time consuming for both asset owners, who are supplying the data, and for infrastructure project planners, who need access to the data. These inconsistencies also make it challenging for all relevant underground asset data to be reconciled into a single plan on asset locations, increasing the risk of accidents, project delays and disruption to businesses and residents.

NUAR is a government-led programme aimed at more efficient information exchange by creating a single, digital data-sharing platform on the location and condition of underground assets. It is a secure data-sharing service that provides an interactive, standardised digital view of the underground assets in a given location.

The first phase of NUAR (the minimum viable product) has been launched and is live in North East England, Wales, West Midlands, East Midlands and London. This includes data from all of the major energy and water companies in these areas, as well as numerous smaller providers of these services, telecommunications companies and public sector organisations.

The MVP is initially accessible to asset owners who operate in the live areas and have signed the NUAR Data Distribution Agreement (DDA) and agreed a Data Ingestion Specification (DIS). Once complete, NUAR will cover England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

If you are an underground asset owner (or working on behalf of one), that operates in East Midlands, London, North East England, West Midlands or Wales and is fully signed up to NUAR, you may now be able to access the service. Contact your organisation’s designated system admin for more details. If you do not know your designated system admin, please contact our Service Desk.

If your organisation is not fully signed up to NUAR yet, contact our onboarding team by completing our asset owner onboarding form.

If you are already using the NUAR service, or have fully signed up, but operate outside of our live areas (East Midlands, London, North East England, West Midlands or Wales), you can contact our Service Desk with any questions.

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