Enhancing Water Loss Analysis and Reduction through Water Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Systems

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems have emerged as a transformative technology in the water industry, offering real-time data collection, analysis, and management capabilities.

AMI systems provide online meter readings at high frequency, typically once per hour, compared to traditional manual readings, which are often limited to once a month. This results in about 8,760 data points vs. 12 points per year. Multiplying this volume of data by the number of meters in a city puts us in front of the need to analyze a huge volume of data. Thus, advanced data analytics tools are required to benefit from the systems.

Exploring how AMI systems influence Water Loss analysis and reduction strategies. AMI indicates revolutionary improvement in the ability to analyze data in different instances aiming at the analysis of Real and Apparent Losses

AMI revolutionizes the ability to analyze data at multiple levels to analyze real and commercial losses.

Apparent Losses Analysis:

Exploring the impact of the Increased Data Granularity on Apparent Losses (A.L) analysis indicates several applications for A.L reduction:

Analysis Accuracy and Meter Degradation: AMI systems enable continuous monitoring of meter performance, allowing for early detection of degradation or malfunction. By tracking meter accuracy over time, utilities can proactively schedule maintenance or replacement, ensuring accurate measurement of water consumption and reducing revenue losses due to under-registration.

Sizing Meters to Match Consumption: AMI systems facilitate dynamic meter sizing based on actual consumption patterns and appropriately size meters to match consumption, minimizing losses due to undersized or oversized meters.

Generation of Alerts: AMI systems can generate real-time alerts in case of meter malfunctions, tampering, or suspected sabotage. Prompt notifications enable swift response measures, reducing unauthorized consumption and customer reading inaccuracies and preventing potential revenue losses.

Identifying Customer Leaks: With continuous data monitoring, AMI systems enable utilities to promptly identify and address customer-side leaks. Utilities can proactively notify customers of potential leaks by analyzing consumption patterns and detecting anomalies, fostering water conservation, and reducing non-revenue water.

Real Losses Analysis:

Spatial Location and Virtual DMAs: AMI systems allow for the spatial mapping of meters, enabling utilities to form virtual District Metering Areas (DMAs) for real-time monitoring of supply and demand. By correlating data from individual meters with bulk meters, utilities can detect and localize areas with abnormal flow patterns, facilitating targeted leak detection and repair efforts.

Anomaly Detection: AMI systems incorporate advanced analytics capabilities to detect supply and demand patterns anomalies. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, utilities can identify deviations from expected consumption behavior indicative of potential leaks or unauthorized water usage.

Integration with Other Systems:

Digital Twins: Integration of AMI systems with digital twin models allows utilities to simulate and optimize water distribution networks. By coupling real-time data from AMI systems with predictive modeling, utilities can assess the impact of operational changes and infrastructure investments on water loss reduction.

SCADA and Operation Scheduling: AMI systems complement Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, providing additional data points for operational decision-making. Utilities can optimize pumping schedules, pressure management, and valve operations by integrating AMI data with SCADA to minimize water losses.

Water Quality Monitoring: AMI systems support water quality monitoring efforts by providing real-time insights into water flow and consumption patterns. By correlating water quality data with consumption data from AMI systems, utilities can identify potential contamination events or water quality degradation, enhancing public health and safety.

Conclusion:

Water AMI systems are pivotal in revolutionizing utility water loss analysis and reduction strategies. By providing granular data, facilitating proactive maintenance, and enabling advanced analytics, AMI systems empower utilities to address both apparent and actual losses effectively. Integration with complementary technologies such as digital twins, SCADA, and water quality monitoring further enhances the capabilities of AMI systems, driving continuous improvement in water management practices and ensuring the sustainability of water resources.

(C) Mordechai Feldman, LeakZon 2024

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