BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics

As part of its water-saving initiatives, the University of California Merced (UC Merced) has relied heavily on BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) from Badger Meter Inc. The technology has revealed numerous leaks around campus that the operations crew never knew about, and was able to easily remedy.

Weftec Badger Beacon Ama

n California, water is precious, competition for water is fierce and conservation is critical. Amid the state's worst drought to date, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in January 2014, urging Californians to voluntarily cut water use 20 percent by 2020. Seeing the need for even more urgent measures, new statewide mandatory water restrictions went into effect on April 1, 2015, calling for a 25-percent reduction in water usage through February 2016.

The University of California Merced (UC Merced) is located in one of the driest climates in California -- the Central Valley. Known for being an extremely "green" campus, staff and students have joined together to dramatically cut water, energy and gas usage per student every year, showing water savings well ahead of goals set by the UC president.

Weftec Badger Beacon Ama
Beacon AMA has helped UC Merced identity leaks, conserve water, and save money.

As part of its water-saving initiatives, UC Merced has relied heavily on BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) from Badger Meter Inc. "BEACON AMA's automated data collection and online software has significantly reduced the time and resources needed to ensure and document our new compliance standards," said Emron Quarqat, UC Merced's water operations crew leader. "It has made our team and the campus a lot more aware of our water consumption."

Water Conservation Competition

In 2010, well before the new compliance standards were set, a group of staff and students developed an energy team to look at water conservation. With the help of the energy team, a dorm water challenge was set into motion. "We knew we needed data, and BEACON AMA turned out to be the best solution for providing real-time water consumption data that everyone could see and proactively use," said Quarqat.

BEACON AMA combines cellular endpoints, use of existing cellular networks and an easy-to-use software product to give UC Merced the fast, near real-time data it needed to start conserving. The data serves as a troubleshooting tool for any maintenance issues that may arise and can also easily point to specific occurrences.

Competition Pays Off

In the first year of the water conservation competition, the campus dorms reduced their water consumption by 14 percent, saving 79,000 gallons of water. The near real-time data also helped detect 16 water leaks, saving an additional 1.4 million gallons.

In the following years, the campus saw another 9-percent reduction involving over 2,000 students. "The whole campus has their eyes on water conservation, and we now know where our water is going," continued Quarqat. "Plus, it's saved us money."

BEACON AMA has revealed numerous leaks around campus that the operations crew never knew about, and was able to easily remedy. For example, a 100-gallon-per-day leak was responsible for hot water, energy and chemical loss. Stopping it saved the university $6,105 annually.

In addition, the dorm competition revealed that five toilets were leaking a total of 150 gallons an hour. The leaks were quickly identified and fixed in seven days, saving the university an estimated 1 million gallons of water per year and $6,576. Other leaks in cooling towers, boilers and irrigation systems have also been quickly detected and solved using the BEACON AMA system.

"For my crew, the number one concern is keeping an eye on leaks, consumption and the granular measurement data we need to provide to the energy team," said Quarqat. "BEACON AMA and the various meters have made it very easy for us to make smart, quick decisions that benefit the whole campus."

Badger Meter is an exhibitor at WEFTEC.15 and can be found at Booth 825. For more information, visit

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