The Water Authority will also use FlexNet’s open standards communications network to provide fixed-base remote meter reading for approximately 850 commercial customers located throughout its service area. The installation is scheduled to be finished by September 2011, at which time customers with radio-equipped meters will have access to their water consumption data via an online portal.
Frank Roth, policy manager for the Water Authority, explains, “The business case for investing in an AMI system was clear, as this technology will increase meter reading accuracy, improve customer service, reduce data collection costs and quickly gather critical information that provides insight to utility decision-makers. The two-way communication abilities of the FlexNet network will help us reduce nonrevenue water losses and associated delivery costs, support water conservation programs and manage demand.”
The commercial meters being replaced are going to companies that account for 13 percent of water demand and provide 20 percent of utility revenue. In January 2012, the Water Authority will start planning the second phase of the program, which will extend AMI service to approximately 200,000 residential meters.
Albuquerque has aggressively embraced water conservation and in 2008 opened the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project, which made surface water transported from the Colorado River basin the primary source of water for the metro Albuquerque service area. The AMI program will help support the conservation goals of that project, which calls for an eventual reduction in Albuquerque’s per capita water usage to 155 gallons per day. Water Authority officials will analyze data gathered by the FlexNet system to better identify demand and usage and also to detect leaks in the distribution system.
Mike Tracy, Sensus vice president of North American Water, adds: “The FlexNet system has proven its value as a tool for water conservation by providing insight into water usage patterns and through leak detection. Albuquerque is defining the smart grid for water through its investment in and commitment to intelligent water management and conservation.”
Sensus provides technology solutions that enable conservation of energy and water resources. For more information, visit www.sensus.com.