water tariffs

In the US state of Texas, Wichita Falls has announced benefits recorded from implementing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

The city has to date witnessed $1 million in operational savings thanks to using smart water meters over a period of one year.

The AMI water meters project has enabled the city to eliminate five meter reading positions, resulting in a decrease in operational costs.

In addition, the smart meters are helping consumers improve their water efficiency through access to real-time data via the utility’s online customer portal.

This has provided the city with insights on exactly how much water needs to be treated and distributed for consumer use and avoid spending on unnecessary expenses.

Jim Dockery, Deputy City manager, said: “It takes out the guessing game of saying to them, ‘The water went through the meter sometime during that month, but we don't know when or why,”

Moreover, the smart meters are helping to detect water leaks and meter tampering incidents, a development which is helping reduce non-revenue expenses.

“We continue to work on fine-tuning the system to make it even more efficient, but overall it has done what it was intended to do.

“(We) use that saving to partially pay for the annual cost of the system,”

The city of Wichita Falls launched the $16.5 million AMI project in February 2016, and has replaced 34,000 analogue water meters with the new digital meters.

The city installs between 200 and 300 smart water meters a day and 1,200 smart water meters a week in partnership with AMERESCO.