Smart metering: enabler for rapid and effective post meter leakage identification and water loss management
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Periods of urban water scarcity in cities places pressure on government agencies and water utilities to improve water distribution system efficiency through reducing the amount of water lost in the network as well as deploying a range of demand management techniques to conserve existing supply. Current estimations assume customer post meter leakage accounts for up to 10 % of total water consumption, particularly in the residential sector. Households identified as having post meter leakage using a citywide installation of smart metering technology were subjected to a mix of basic and tailored information regarding water loss. The primary aim of the study was to test the effectiveness of communication interventions and the attributed water savings resulting from the repair of household leaks. The residential leakage communication strategy resulted in a reduction in minimum night flows by a very significant 89 % over the duration of the study, while the control group receiving no communication increased consumption by 52 %. Moreover, questionnaire surveys were conducted to establish the significant factors, including leak type, demographics and household awareness, to name a few, that will influence the development of a fit-for-purpose post-meter leak rectification policy and program. The paper concludes with some key recommendations for future work to develop a predictive model for identifying, classifying and quantifying post meter loss as well as presents least cost planning implications of a leak rectification policy. The study confirmed that smart metering provides water utilities with a powerful tool to rapidly identify and action the significant volumes of post meter leakage occurring in our cities.
Journal of Cleaner Production
Copyright 2013 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Water Resources Engineering