Smart Water Networks Start With Real Time Information
Greg Myers, VP of Marketing and Randolph Wheatley, EVP of Corporate Marketing and Communications for SENSUS, discuss the consumer and utility pain points of water loss and consumption and the Company’s FlexNet AMI system.
The following is an excerpt from a Q&A with Water Online Radio. Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.
Water Online Radio: What are the top two or three issues utilities are worried about?
Greg: With water drought situations all over the world, I think everyone is becoming more conscious of water conservation and the need for it. I think there is a lot of water, as folks know, that doesn’t even get to the customers.
The non-revenue types of things both from what is not being metered today to just water that isn’t reaching customers based on leaks and so forth; those are two of the biggest things. Just think about what we can conserve if every utility could cut those percentages down.
Water Online Radio: I want to be sure that I am clear. There are a number of pain points for the customer as I understand it. Walk us through what those are.
Greg: I think leaks is one both from a customer perspective where you are helping your consumer understand what water they are using and when they may have an issue within their premise and then the non-revenue piece where the utility is just giving the water to the customer and losing water along the way.
Randolph: Agreed because at the end of the day these are all things that affect the utilities ability to provide service to their customer and do so in a way that is both cost-effective and efficient.
Theft continues to be a problem even in developed nations and then enhancing customer service. Quite often customers are concerned when they don’t understand why they get a particular bill being high and being able to provide them information so that they understand that is a big area that utilities focus on. Finally water is a finite resource and therefore conservation is always important. Those are the keys.
Water Online Radio: What is SENSUS doing to help solve these issues?
Greg: I think it starts with smart water networks and being able to get more real time information, two-way information not only from the meter reading end points but from other points along the water distribution line and not just around detecting leaks and so forth but also water quality, pressure and all of those things that help a utility provide a better quality of service to the consumers.
Water Online Radio: Talk about the technologies that make it up.
Greg: It starts by having a technology that can talk two-way to these different end points both from a metering perspective and all of the other devices that I named. Being able to do that on a real time basis is important. Getting that information from a monthly drive-by solution doesn’t provide the resolution of data that you need to be able to take timely action that you need in order to get the benefits out of the data that you are collecting.
It is about being able to bring that data in and then being able to have an application sitting on top of it to help the customers understand what that data is. As you know it’s a small sub-set of utilities that have delved into data more than just a monthly meter read for the utilities and now they are going to get all of this data and you have to help them with the applications on top of it to make that data useful…
Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.