Water suppliers regularly look to develop projects that are dependent on third party vendors. A good example of this is the deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure. In these cases, utility managers often look to reduce complexity and improve accountability by choosing a single provider as the primary point of contact for the project. The idea behind this approach is that a prime contractor will be responsible for delivering the entire project, and will outsource or subcontract whatever elements of the project are not within that vendor’s area of domain expertise.[Read more…] about Reframing Water Utility Project Management
Many water utilities continue to evaluate the costs and benefits of investing in smart metering to reduce operational costs and help recover revenue from water losses. Smart metering can also provide customers with more granular consumption data to help them protect their property from water damage and better manage their water expenses.
While water suppliers continue to build business cases to justify the typically large capital expenditures necessary to deploy a system wide smart metering platform, a potentially bigger question has emerged relating to the type of communication technology the utility should select.[Read more…] about Smart Water Networks and the Future of AMI
When speaking with anyone who works for a water utility their priorities quickly become apparent. Water quality and reliability, intractably related to each other, form the core mission of any water utility. Without maintaining water quality and safety, customers may become sick or worse. Water suppliers in the United States take great pride in the reliability of service that they have provided for more than a century. No other country in the world has delivered such an extended period of reliability with 24×7 on demand water services. There are few people that live in the U.S. that can recount EVER turning on the tap and not receiving safe, life nourishing drinking water.[Read more…] about Meter-to-Cash: Turning Water Into Dollars
As sensor technology becomes more prevalent throughout the water utility industry, the need for software systems to make sense of this flood of data is becoming increasingly critical. Data presentment and business intelligence tools that provide new insights to improve operations may leave utility managers with a broad set of competing priorities. In addition, the adoption and implementation of these new technologies can be both expensive and disruptive to long-standing business processes.[Read more…] about Top Technology Adoption Trends in the Water Industry
In 2009 WaterSmart Software was born around a simple question: Can social comparisons drive an improvement in water-use efficiency? It turns out the answer to that question was decidedly YES! Over the next several years WaterSmart became a pioneer in the practice that is now broadly known as Behavioral Water Efficiency. By providing water customers with information on how their water use compares with similar households along with specific, money saving recommendations on how they can more effectively use water, utilities see an increase in water-use efficiency of up to 5%.[Read more…] about Performance WaterMark: How does your utility compare?
WaterSmart recently reached a major milestone. We signed our 100th utility partner. It’s only a number, and given that there are about 50,000 community water systems in the United States, this accomplishment is, pardon the pun, just a drop in the bucket. What is important is that the WaterSmart team has had the opportunity to learn an amazing amount from these hundred partnerships. We’ve worked with scores of utility staff and surveyed hundreds of thousands of end-use customers. What has come from all that experience and data are some pretty interesting insights.[Read more…] about Lessons from 100 Water Suppliers
The software vendor business model has evolved rather dramatically in the past decade or so. Traditionally, utility software providers (including SCADA, customer information systems, work order management, rebate tracking, and other common solutions used by water utilities) would sell a perpetual license to their water utility customers who would then install the software on a local computer or server.[Read more…] about Accounting for Utility Software Services
Water leaks happen. In fact, they happen a lot. Data that WaterSmart has collected from over 4 million households indicates that as many as 50% of households will experience some type of water leak within a given year. And more than 10% of households have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons per day. In addition to the frequency that leaks occur, they can be quite expensive. The U.S. insurance industry pays out about $2.5 billion each year in homeowner insurance claims due to water damage from leaks. That’s nearly $7,000 per household which is the number two home insurance claim annually.[Read more…] about Noticing Water Leaks (Fix a Leak Week)