How can Water Companies Effectively use District Metered Area Data?

Pinpoint a map of a water network to show how they’ve effectively used district data.

By capturing and analysing streams of operational data, water companies can optimise every element of business operations, from asset maintenance to customer service and resource allocation, increasing efficiency, reducing leaks, and tailoring the service customers receive. But in large water networks, how can water operators organise and process data quickly and easily?

A key strategy in effective data management is the organisation of the network into District Metered Areas (DMAs). So, what are they and how can they be effectively used?

What are District Metered Areas?

District Metered Areas segment water networks into distinct hydraulic sectors which, typically, encompass urban and rural districts with residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial customers. By establishing permanent District Metered Areas (DMAs) with inflow and pressure monitoring, water operators gain more focused visibility into supply, consumption patterns, and system performance at a granular level.

How can District Metered Areas be used in Water Management?

A district-level approach to water management unlocks several key benefits:

Tailoring the Approach to Water Management

DMAs enable water operators to tailor their water management strategies to meet the unique dynamics and needs of each supply area. DMAs provide the basis for understanding Demand (consumption plus leakage) and target resources - repair teams, equipment, and maintenance activities. For example, resources can be intelligently allocated according to area-specific priorities and challenges. Targeted deployment helps to stretch limited resources further while optimising service reliability by ensuring that the most vulnerable areas receive priority support.

Extending the Lifecycle of Infrastructure

Much of the existing water infrastructure in some countries is old, but without insights into the condition of different parts of the network, it is difficult for water operators to adopt a proactive, instead of a reactive, approach to maintenance. District metering and monitoring utilises area-specific data, such as water loss, pressure conditions, and flow rates, which suppliers can use to analyse risk and and assess the condition and performance of pipes. This ensures that DMAs where there are the most acute infrastructure vulnerabilities receive targeted maintenance and repairs, minimising the risk of unexpected burst pipes.

Delivering a More Personalised Service

District intelligence also improves customer service capabilities. By organising service management by distinct areas, water operators can provide more personalised responses to customer issues or enquiries. Localised knowledge allows for the quicker resolution of problems and more systematic coordination of planned outages or repairs that may disrupt service.

Ensuring the Safe Supply of Water

District Metered Areas allow water network operations and planners to analyse area-specific supply/demand data and to quickly identify water quality issues or the sources of contamination. Localised visibility facilitates targeted testing, water treatment, and urgent consumer notifications to protect the health and welfare of customers.

Anticipating and Addressing Leaks

To mitigate financial losses, data from District Metered Areas enables enhanced management of non-revenue water loss through leakage and operational inefficiencies. By analysing customer consumption and comparing this to supply, water operators can pinpoint areas with excess unbilled usage. DMAs provide an unparalleled view into how much water is reaching customers compared to being lost, which can be used to support data-driven leak detection and maintenance. 

Find Out More

For more information about how we can help you to make better use of your District Metered Area data, please contact Crowder Consulting on 01514533669 or send us a message.

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