To continuously improve operational efficiencies in partnership with our customers, Joshua Basin Water District is gradually upgrading existing water meters. In 2019, the board faced a crucial decision regarding a meter replacement. At that time, over 75% of the tested meters were failing, all of which were underreporting. After extensive analysis of both Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology, along with staff analysis, board discussions, and support from the public, the decision was made to proceed with AMR meters from SENSUS/ACWA METRIC. The choice of AMR over AMI was influenced, in part, by the additional cost associated with AMI, estimated to be slightly over one million dollars more at that time.
The District kicked off the 5-year meter replacement program with the goal of replacing approximately 5,600 water meters in our service area. By the end of 2023, 66% of meters have been replaced.
Completing meter replacement within a water district is paramount for several reasons. Firstly, newer meters are equipped with advanced technology that enhances accuracy, efficiency, and reliability in water measurement. This ensures fair billing for customers and facilitates better management of water resources. Secondly, modern meters often feature remote monitoring capabilities, enabling real-time data collection and analysis, which aids in identifying leaks, reducing water losses, and optimizing distribution networks. Thirdly, updated meters can support the implementation of conservation initiatives by providing consumers with detailed usage information, fostering awareness, and encouraging responsible water consumption practices. Ultimately, investing in meter replacement not only modernizes infrastructure but also promotes sustainability, equitable billing, and proactive water management, benefitting both the water district and its constituents in the long run.
The District is currently exploring AMI technology (AMI provides near real-time water usage data). This technology will empower customers with tools to monitor water usage, identify leaks, and maximize water use efficiency. The good news is the board and staff demonstrated foresight in selecting SENSUS meters from ACWA METRIC, as they are easily convertible to AMI. Stay tuned... more to come!