While dry conditions are expected to end or lessen considerably soon in some parts of the country, they are expected to continue into next year for much of the Pacific Northwest. And while California is expecting relief from its extreme drought conditions in the form of heavy El Niño-related rainfall, one wet season won't be enough to make up for four years with little water.
Council Associate Partner Neptune Technology Group is one of many companies developing smart solutions to help water utilities better monitor and manage their water supplies. Two metering software applications are designed to help utilities manage their water systems, and one of them also can be used to encourage customers to get involved in water conservation.
Neptune's NGO app allows utility employees to use their Android-compatible smart phones or tablets to quickly analyze data generated in the field by a variety of meters. Utilities can use that information and share it with customers in the forms of graphs so they can see when and how much water they use. Customer can then use the information to have any leaks repaired and conserve water.
The company's AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) mobile app, NVIEW, also is designed to assist with water conservation by providing alerts that identify where water is wasted: meters with leaks or reverse flow, inactive accounts that are showing water use and accounts that use large amounts of water. NVIEW can monitor every account in the office or field for current readings, peak use and consumption by the hour or day. NVIEW is intended to be used in conjunction with Neptune's N_SIGHT PLUS host software and GIS mapping.
"In times of water scarcity or abundance, our industry now recognizes that water efficiency will continue to play a major role in the life of a utility. Applications such as NGO and NVIEW give utilities the tools that go beyond reading and billing to identify where water is being lost, so that they can save precious water by capturing non-revenue water," said Kent Murray, VP for marketing with Neptune.
Looking to the future, current drought conditions in the U.S. aren't the only good motivation for optimizing water management. Water is in scarce supply in many regions of the world and some forecasts predict almost two-thirds of the global population will be living where water supplies are inadequate within 10 years.
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