The AquaHawk Blog

A blog about customer portal solutions for utilities

AquaHawk Helps Utilities Manage Conservation Standards and Water Restrictions

Water restrictionsAquaHawk Alerting includes several capabilities that enable water utilities to meet drought reduction limits, manage water restrictions, and help customers better understand water budgets.

Support for Manual and AMR Systems

AquaHawk supports any type of meter reading system and read frequency. Depending on how frequently a water provider collects meter read data, however, dictates which AquaHawk capabilities are available to consumers and utility employees.

For example, the vast majority of utilities gather reads every 30 or 60 days using manual, handheld, or mobile drive-by Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems. With these systems, AquaHawk can show customers how they're monthly/bimonthly usage compares to a reduction target, say 25%.

 

User-Entered Meter Reads

By manually inspecting their own meters and entering reads in the AquaHawk portal during the billing period, customers can also be notified if their usage indicates that they may exceed their conservation requirement.

 

User entered meter read

 

This gives customers the foresight to modify their usage prior to exceeding a conservation goal, and prevents excess use fines or other penalties.

User-entered meter reads also gives the utility a way to address those customers who complain that they had no notice, before being penalized. By providing this service, water utilities can empower customers to take more proactive responsibility for their own water consumption.

 

Smart Meter Networks Expand Water Conservation Capabilities

When a utility collects hourly reads, several times a day using an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system or "smart meter network" there are a host of water-saving features provided by AquaHawk.

 

Rapid Leak Detection & Notification

One of the most valuable of these features in the AquaHawk system is accurate and timely leak detection. Different from other systems that need an abnormal usage pattern to run a full twenty four hours before they generate an alarm, AquaHawk analyzes 4, 8, 16, and 24 hour usage patterns to more quickly catch water-wasting issues.

It combines a notification system, to alert customers via text message, e-mail, automated phone call, or direct mail, that is easy and efficient for utility staff to use.

 

Proactively Monitor Water Use Reductions

Each account in AquaHawk can be assigned a unique drought reduction target. This is an amount the consumer needs to reduce usage by compared with a 2013 baseline.

With its unique "Accumulating Graph," AquaHawk users can see how their consumption is trending against a drought reduction limit, water budget, or higher price tier. When the customer is at 80-90% (utility specified) of the conservation target, for example, the user is automatically notified by the system.

 

Identifying Water Restriction Violators

Many utilities limit which days their customers can irrigate, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It can be challenging with the tools provided by most AMI systems, to find those accounts that are not complying.

AquaHawk offers easy-to-use online tools for identifying water restriction violators so that utility staff can use the notification tools in the system to message them.

 

Water restriction violators report

 

A daily/weekly report can be e-mailed to designated utility employees, highlighting those accounts in violation of the rules, so that follow up actions can be taken. The e-mail includes a .csv file with mailing address and other contact information so that staff members can generate form letters.

 

Support for Water Budgets

Water budgets are calculated allotments of water, individualized to each account, that can vary based on occupancy, irrigable land space, environmental data (e.g., rainfall and temperature), and other parameters.

The budgets usually change every billing period. AquaHawk integrates each account's water budget, displays it on the water use graph, and describes in writing how much of the allotment the customer has used. Customers can receive automatic alerts when the reach 80-90% of the budget.

Online tools in the system enable staff members to see which accounts are over budget and by how much. Reports are automatically e-mailed to staff members on a daily/weekly basis detailing the accounts they need to follow up with.

From rapid leak detection and notification to managing water use reductions and budgets, AquaHawk offers comprehensive tools for utilities using any kind of meter reading system. Give us a call today to see a demonstration of this valuable consumer engagement solution.

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