Drought Answers: Applying a Long-Term, Two-Pronged Approach to Water Efficiency

Neptune's AMR and AMI systems provide a robust set of tools to improve water efficiency. It means leveraging the data from the company's E-Coder® solid-state absolute encoder technology or its new MACH 10 ultrasonic meter to identify excessive consumption as well as continuous and intermittent leaks. That's where Neptune's N_SIGHT™ suite comes in, offering powerful software that leverages the E-Coder's point-of-use leak detection. The suite also exploits the data-logging capability of the R900 RF meter interface unit to detail water consumption.

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T
he drought that communities across the western United States are experiencing is historic. However, it's not unprecedented: Having served water utility customers since 1892, Neptune Technology Group has witnessed extreme drought conditions before. More importantly, the company has translated that experience into innovations to provide its utility customers with technologies that boost water efficiency -- not only on the demand side but on the supply side as well.

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Neptune's N_SIGHT offers powerful software that leverages the E-Coder's point-of-use leak detection.

This two-pronged approach is proving especially helpful to those utilities in the western U.S. For example, as the state of California has mandated more stringent restrictions on water usage, Neptune's automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems provide a robust set of tools to improve water efficiency. This goes beyond highly accurate, reliable meter reading (which many California communities in particular are increasingly moving toward after decades of flat-rate billing). It means leveraging the data from Neptune's E-Coder® solid-state absolute encoder technology or the company's new MACH 10 ultrasonic meter to identify excessive consumption as well as continuous and intermittent leaks.

That's where Neptune's N_SIGHT™ suite comes in, offering powerful software that leverages the E-Coder's point-of-use leak detection. The N_SIGHT suite also exploits the data-logging capability of the company's R900 RF meter interface unit to detail water consumption (including excessive usage) for the prior 96 days. Having this data in hand not only helps resolve billing disputes, but it's also a major tool in conservation education. Utilities can help enforce water restrictions while encouraging changes in consumption behavior by showing users graphs detailing how much water they've used and when. Individual customers can even monitor their own consumption through a web portal in Neptune's N_SIGHT IQ intelligent data and analytics.

By the same token, those same water utilities can conserve water in another way by tracking water on the supply, or distribution, side. In communities that cannot rely on usual water resources such as rainfall or snowmelt, it is crucial to identify an additional source of water scarcity -- non-revenue water (water loss). Using Neptune's N_SIGHT PLUS host software, utilities can group similar accounts for District Metered Area analysis and balance water produced against water consumed down to the neighborhood level -- all to help track and manage non-revenue water. This form of water conservation is actually the most cost-effective method of finding "new" water for utilities.

Although it's necessary to address leaks and excessive usage on the customer side, it isn't enough. To achieve water efficiency, a utility must also address the distribution side of the equation, to look at both sides to prevent water loss.

While innovative, the types of advanced, data-driven AMR/AMI tools that Neptune provides to today's utilities -- such as the E-Coder and the N_SIGHT suite -- were developed before the current drought in the West. By focusing on a long-term, multi-discipline approach, the company continues to offer water utilities smart ways to address water scarcity through new measurement technologies like the MACH 10 and analytical tools such as the N_SIGHT IQ.

To learn more about Neptune Technology Group and the company's MACH 10 and N_SIGHT technologies, visit www.neptunetg.com.

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