Jul 01, 2010

AWWA Attendees Reveal Priorities in AMI, Smart Metering for Water Utilities

Reliability and accuracy rated top performance factors

Water utilities are seeking accuracy, reliability and minimal maintenance requirements in a smart water management system. In a survey distributed by Sensus to attendees at the recent American Water Works Assn.’s (AWWA) ACE10 conference in Chicago, respondents ranked their most important factors when choosing a water management system including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart meter components.

According to the survey results:
&#149 Respondents named flow measurement capability and lifetime accuracy as the most important factors when evaluating an intelligent water management system;
&#149 85% of respondents ranked ease of installation and maintenance as very important factors in choosing a water management system;
&#149 86% of respondents ranked total life expectancy of the system as very important; and
&#149 41 percent of respondents already have a water management system; 47 percent plan to implement a water management in the next three months to two years.

While a majority of of respondents from public water utilities have already implemented AMI and smart metering systems or have plans to implement such systems within the next two years, only 12% of respondents with no significant plans to deploy these technologies are indicative of the remaining concerns that utilities have regarding the costs and benefits of implementing a smart water management system. Reputation of manufacturer was ranked as the third most important consideration when choosing a system, underscoring the importance utilities place on working with a trusted partner offering a tested, proven solution for smarter water management.

“Sensus has been a trusted partner to water utilities for more than 100 years, and continues to drive innovation with the introduction of water management systems that are redefining the standard for accuracy and efficiency,” said Mike Tracy, vice president for North American water for Sensus. “The results of the survey confirmed that low-flow, accurate water management systems are what resonate with today’s utilities.”
The least important factors included the price of equipment and whether the AMI and metering solutions were available from one supplier. “The industry is obviously prioritizing real value over pure price when technology investment decisions are being considered,” said Mike Tracy.

The survey was conducted during the AWWA ACE10 conference, held in Chicago June 20 to 24. The respondents included large municipalities, public water utilities, small- and medium-sized municipalities, cooperatives and investor-owned utilities. More than 250 industry professionals completed the survey while visiting the Sensus booth.