Badger Meter Releases Recommendations on the Latest Metering Technologies

Source: 4/28/2015, Location: North America

Badger Meter, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of flow measurement and control solutions, released recommendations on the latest metering technologies California municipalities, utilities and other water suppliers can begin using immediately to comply with state-mandated actions. Following Governor Jerry Brown’s historic April 1 statewide mandatory water restrictions calling for a 25 percent reduction in water usage through February 2016, Badger Meter outlines the new technologies that are making water usage visible in California.

As part of the new mandates, Section 17 specifically calls for the implementation of water-use monitoring and software technology. The newest Badger Meter offering, BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA), gives water suppliers the opportunity to immediately and cost-effectively respond to state-mandated actions through the use of cloud-based software and cellular metering technology. To date, over 30 California water suppliers have added the BEACON AMA Starter Kit pilot program to their systems. Without the need to purchase servers or traditional fixed network infrastructure, pilot programs can be installed as soon as cellular radio endpoints are deployed.

“BEACON AMA has been well received throughout the country, specifically in California,” said Richard A. Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter. “From Sunnyvale to Sacramento, utility managers and municipal leadership appreciate the rapid installation, ease of use and, most importantly, ability to quickly quantify the effects of conservation efforts – both from a utility and end water consumer’s perspective. Using existing cellular metering technology, BEACON AMA trials take just days to implement, giving customers the ability to immediately use data to set more aggressive conservation plans in motion.”

BEACON AMA achieves immediate water-saving results at the University of California Merced:

One example of BEACON AMA’s ability to help water suppliers quickly identify leaks and easily report on results comes from the University of California Merced. As part of the campus’ overall plan to dramatically cut water, energy and gas usage per student every year, the university turned to BEACON AMA to meet its water conservation initiatives.

“We knew we needed data and BEACON AMA was the best way to turn water into real-time data that everyone could see,” said Emron Quarqat, UC Merced’s water operations crew leader. “BEACON’s data collection and online software has significantly reduced the time and resources needed to ensure and document our new compliance standards. It has made our team and the campus a lot more aware of our water consumption.”

In the first year of the university’s water conservation challenge, the campus dorms reduced their water consumption by 14 percent, saving 79,000 gallons of water. They also saved 1.4 million gallons of water from 16 water leaks detected by the near real-time data. For example, the system discovered five toilets that were leaking a total of 150 gallons per hour. Because of BEACON AMA, the leaks were identified and fixed in seven days, with estimated savings of over one million gallons of water per year.

Nine dorms and 565 students participated during the first year of the program. In subsequent years, the campus saw another nine percent reduction in water consumption involving over 2,000 participants. According to Quarqat, the effects are lasting. “The whole campus has their eyes on water conservation and we now know where our water is going.”

In light of the state’s newest mandates, Badger Meter outlines the specific ways BEACON AMA can help other California water suppliers achieve immediate water-saving results:

- Meet monthly reporting standards. The State Water Resources Control Board now requires “urban water suppliers to provide monthly information on water usage, conservation and enforcement on a permanent basis.” From the minute the BEACON AMA cloud-based software suite is deployed at existing utility computers, utilities can quickly and easily become compliant by generating regulatory compliance reports and sending them directly through the system.

- Detect leaks faster: BEACON AMA has already helped numerous California organizations identify leaks that have resulted in millions of gallons of water saved. Using BEACON AMA, water suppliers have the ability to identify customer-level changes that can quickly detect where leaks are occurring. The system can also instantly send consumer notifications through email or a mobile app, saving resources and preventing non-revenue water loss.

- Proactively communicate with customers: Putting powerful usage data in the palm of consumers’ hands through a smartphone/tablet app, water suppliers can educate consumers on new water restrictions and encourage conservation-oriented usage behavior. Water management features available through the BEACON AMA EyeOnWater app include graphics showing recent usage; usage trends; detailed charting of historical usage; a leak alert function; and recommendations to conserve water, with the ability to set up a customized profile to receive personalized tips and access to a savings calculator.

- Adopt rate structures and pricing mechanisms to promote water conservation: Using BEACON AMA, water suppliers can comply with mandates to adopt metered rates that reflect the full cost of water production and delivery in order to promote water conservation.

Meeusen continued, “It comes down to the fact Californians cannot manage what is not measured. The first step is installing water meters, which the American Water Works Association (AWWA) estimates can reduce a consumer’s usage by 20 percent. The next step, as the state has indicated, is applying technology to make everyday actions, such as not washing the car or spending less time in the shower, more visible. We are focused on making it easier for utilities – and their customers – to achieve that ‘next step.’”

Badger Meter will exhibit BEACON AMA, along with its complete line of flow measurement and control products, at the AWWA’s Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE15), taking place June 7-10 in Anaheim, Calif. Badger Meter will exhibit at Booth #1611. Municipalities and water utilities interested in scheduling a BEACON AMA demonstration leading up to or during ACE15, should contact their local Badger Meter representative.

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