Tasmania’s water corporations launch major water meter push


Geoff Willis,
Chairman, Tasmanian
Water and Sewerage
Hobart, Australia — (METERING.COM) — December 15, 2010 – Tasmania’s three water corporations, Ben Lomond Water, Cradle Mountain Water and Southern Water, have announced the commencement in January 2011 of the installation phase of the Water Metering Tasmania project, which should lead to statewide water metering.

The project, which is expected to take around 18 months, will see the installation of 73,000 new residential water meters and 88,000 replacement residential water meters, as well as more than 5,000 water meters for commercial and industrial customers.
The residential component is valued at Au$54 million (US$54.1 million), and the project is being funded in part by a Au$10 million grant from the Australian government’s Water for the Future initiative through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns Program.
The project represents Australia’s largest single rollout of new water meters in recent decades and Hobart is the last capital city in the nation to be fully metered.
The chairman of the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporations, Geoff Willis, said the project was one of many large investments in water infrastructure that will benefit customers for many years. As part of the water pricing reform process currently underway, new meters need to be installed by July 1, 2012, when a new pricing approach takes effect.
“Unless all Tasmanians have water meters, we cannot apply fair and equitable water pricing to all customers within each region,” said Willis. “This inequity has understandably created a lot of angst in the community, particularly in southern Tasmania where 62,000 residential properties require a meter.

According to the water corporations, the benefits of water meters are significant and their introduction will lead to an overall decrease in consumption – both from behavioral change and leakage detection – predicted by Southern Water to exceed 20 percent, which is the typical outcome seen in mainland cities when meters have been introduced.

As the water corporations introduce more detailed water accounts in 2011/12, the meters, which will have AMR technology, will ensure that customers can be informed about their water use, consumption patterns and alerted to possible water leaks in their property.

As well as installing new meters, the project will also investigate and update 101,000 aged meters to ensure consistent accuracy levels. Ben Lomond Water and Cradle Mountain Water will rapidly move to replacing aged meters in 2011, while Southern Water will first install new residential meters, then commercial and industrial, before moving to replace aged meters from 2012.

Water Metering Tasmania is a statewide team established by the three water corporations and based at Southern Water. As well as responsibility for the project planning and design, Water Metering Tasmania is also utilizing Onstream services for the procurement of meters and stakeholder engagement. It will also install the meters in southern Tasmania. Ben Lomond Water and Cradle Mountain Water will install and upgrade their own meters utilizing the cost benefits provided by Water Metering Tasmania’s centralized purchasing and arrangements.