California water utilities without AMI or smart meter systems can now offer customers new ways to help reduce water use, through enhancements to the AquaHawk Alerting web-based portal.
The system allows utilities with first- and second- generation metering equipment to provide some smart meter capabilities to their clients, says Bobby Lee, AmCoBi president. He says the product will help utilities’ customers meet the mandated statewide water reductions.
While smart meter networks offer rapid leak detection, notification, and projected usage, 80 percent of water utilities still use manual, handheld, or mobile “drive-by” automatic meter reading (AMR) systems that collect reads every 30 days, the company says. Customers don’t know how much water they’re using until they receive a bill. This makes it easier for them to exceed reduction limits and face fines or penalties.
AmCoBi’s enhancements to AquaHawk Alerting include:
- Water use reports delivered via print or e-mail, that compare consumption to drought targets. The new reports are designed for utilities that utilize manual or drive-by systems. They show water users how their consumption is trending compared to an assigned conservation limit, and highlight available water efficiency programs.
- Customer-entered meter reads that are used for usage projections and alerts. Motivated consumers can manually inspect their water meters and enter reads into the online portal, as often as they want during the billing cycle. AquaHawk analyzes the reads against the conservation target. If the customer’s usage is trending to exceed the limit, the system will automatically alert the user via text message, e-mail or automated phone call.