By Sheila Kee, Senior Product Manager, Itron
For most water utilities, efficient management of water distribution networks is hampered by a lack of visibility into critical infrastructure. Underground pipes make it challenging to detect problems such as leaks. Infrequent meter reads can lead to inaccuracies in assessing billing discrepancies. When the volume of water billed fails to match the volume pumped, many utilities simply don’t have the data to identify the source of the problem. And those that do are often forced to make manual calculations using spreadsheets.
This complicates the issue further because utility staff may not have the time or expertise to perform in-depth data mining and analysis. If a utility should be fortunate to have dedicated data analysts on staff, they can still overlook issues when different datasets are insufficiently integrated.
Automated solutions offer a path forward. Combining advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) with analytics software enables continuous monitoring and analysis, helping utilities detect anomalies and prioritize actions effectively.