jeudi 22 mars 2012

AMI: Backing water utilities for business process innovation

Drinking water, like energy, is crucial to sustainable development.  Misuse impacts the economy, the environment and social welfare. We all know that the rapid growth of population, coupled with limited availability of water resources, puts tremendous pressure on water supply and demand all over the world. In such a scenario, it is necessary to supply water in a sustainable and a highly efficient manner to ensure minimal impact on the supply demand balance and the community at large.
Water utilities around the globe face a challenge of providing high quality service at a reasonable price to its customers, while operating efficiently and profitably. AMI can help them to achieve these business benefits.
So what are the business objectives of water utilities and how AMI helps them in business benefits?
Utilities need to monitor the following:
When is water being used? How much water is being used? and How long it is being used for? The answers to these questions allow water utilities to:
·         Optimize the use of current infrastructure for better service
·         Balance supply and demand through availability of water
·         Support expansion and the application of innovative practices
Through remote reading of water meters, timely access to metering data and provisioning meter data directly to customers, water businesses can achieve efficiencies through:
·         Avoiding cost of human dependent meter reads and rework in meter reads
·         Nearly 100% meter reads , including missed/non accessible meters
·         Validation of metering data to capture discrepancies in data
·         Drop cost of call center and field operational as a result of fewer discrepancy bill
·         Timely identification and notification of abnormal water usage
Water accounting and theft detection
Remote and timely access to water metering data allows water utilities to monitor metered inflow and outflow in water networks leading to:
·         Enhanced leakage management activity
·         Identification of non-revenue water sources
·         Recognition and notification of attempts to tamper with the meter
·         Providing means to monitor real time water consumption on web portal/Home Area Network
·         Enable comparison with average use
·         Development of innovative water tariffs based on history data and water availability
Improved customer participation
·         Self-monitoring of consumption
·         Domestic leakage and irregular usage alarms
·         Publishing information of water storage levels, inflow, rainfall
Advanced Metering Infrastructure can help water utilities tackle the above challenges through innovative processes, customer awareness and participation. To strike the balance between the quality service standards customers expect and optimizing operational costs, utilities need to select and implement AMI systems and IT solutions. Keep in mind, the traditional issue with AMI water implementations has been the cost trade-off between innovative technology and potential efficiencies. 
Source : Infosys

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