Metering solution helps university save water by making water visible
Badger Meter shared water-saving results from its partnership with the University of California Merced (UC Merced). Since implementing the Beacon Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) managed solution, the university reported a more than 23% reduction in water consumption, including saving several million gallons from leaks detected by the smart water network’s near real-time data.
Located in the Central Valley, one of the driest regions in California, UC Merced turned to the new technology in 2011 to meet the campus’ new compliance standards. According to Emron Quarqat, UC Merced water operations crew leader, what started out as a friendly student competition focusing on reducing water consumption, turned out to be an eye-opening experience for the whole campus.
“Beacon AMA’s automated data collection and online software has significantly reduced the time and resources needed to ensure and document our new compliance standards,” Quarqat said. “The whole campus has its eyes on water conservation and we now know where our water is going.”
Leveraging Beacon AMA’s cellular radio endpoints, use of existing cellular networks and software product, UC Merced is equipped with the fast, near-real-time data needed to conserve. Combined with accurate meter readings from a variety of Badger Meter flow measurement products—all connected to Beacon AMA using cellular communications—the campus is able to monitor its reclaimed water, irrigation and wastewater.
In the first year of the water conservation competition, the campus dorms reduced their consumption by 14%, saving 79,000 gal of water. They also saved 1.4 million gal of water from 16 water leaks detected by the data. Nine dorms and 565 students participated in the first year of the program. In the years that followed, conservation became a daily habit as students used the system’s real-time monitoring capabilities, including the EyeOnWater smartphone app, to achieve another 9% reduction, involving more than 9,000 students. In the program’s lifetime, the system has detected several leaks, including five toilets leaking a total of 150 gal per hour, saving the university an estimated 1 million gal of water per year.
“We applaud UC Merced for leading the charge and setting an example for other water suppliers in California. At a time when conservation is critical, the university is a prime example of the power of Beacon AMA to quickly and cost-effectively build a smart water network and empower end-users to be more conscious stewards of their water use,” said Kim Stoll, vice president of sales and marketing for Badger Meter.