from www.futuregov.asia; Kelly Ng, 20 June 2014
A water agency in the Australian state of Tasmania has used automatic meter reading (AMR) technology to improve water management and meter reading. Esri’s GIS solution was used to manage the state-wide installation.
- Two years ago, the Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporation (TasWater) started this programme to install AMR technologies to properties which had previously not been metered.
GIS has played an important role in the current phase of the project which involved upgrading a total of 13,000 meters which do not meet minimum standards across three municipalities, said Luke Paine, Spatial Information System Administrator at TasWater.
“Field technicians armed with hand-held devices visited each home individually to collect information and photographs to determine where the meters were situated and if there were any particular accessibility issues,” Paine said.
“By using GIS technology we were able to immediately upload and validate that information within our central databases, as well as distribute work orders and monitor the performance of external contractors.”
“Staff can quickly view the interactive map to visualise which individual properties had been upgraded and provide up-to-the-minute reports on the entire project’s progress to internal and community stakeholders. Previously, this would have required a chain of phone calls to isolate where the process was at, so there have been significant improvements from a customer service perspective,” Paine said.
The user-friendly map-based interface was critical to providing a system which personnel across TasWater could use with little or no training. “Our call centre staff use the mapping system daily when responding to customer queries and requests about meter installation,” he added.
GIS technology has been critical to every stage of the project – from pre-installation, data collection, to the generation of a variety of reports for both internal and external stakeholders. It provided TasWater with the means of distributing that information out to the entire organisation, so employees can instantly visualise at what stage the process is and what work remains to be done, he added.
The roll-out is part of a state initiative to save up to 8,700 million litres of water each year – equivalent to the annual average water consumption of approximately 43,500 homes in the State.
TasWater provides drinking water, sewerage and trade waste services for around 200,000 homes and businesses across the Australian state of Tasmania.