Sugar Land, TX – Sugar Land City Council recently approved a $1.1 million contract for an Advanced Meter Infrastructure project.
The project was included in recommendations of a 14-member citizen-led committee that spent more than two years developing the city’s Integrated Water Resource Plan. The IWRP is a comprehensive planning process used to evaluate a wide mix of policies, management strategies and capital improvement projects while building consensus and support from decision-makers and other stakeholders affected by the recommendations.
As part of this process, a group of 15 potential future water supply options were evaluated that could help the city meet its long-term water supply needs and also meet subsidence regulations pertaining to the withdrawal of groundwater that contributes to flooding and infrastructure damage. For more about the IWRP, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/IWRP.
“AMI is an integrated system of customer water meters, communication networks and data management systems that provides real-time water use information to the city and its residents,” said City Engineer Jessie Li. “Not only does this project help keep our community safe by maintaining a safe, reliable water supply for future generations, but it does so in a way that invests in our city infrastructure to save money for our citizens.”
Advanced metering infrastructure can provide real time water use information to the city and its residents. It has multiple potential benefits including more informed customers who adjust usage behaviors based upon the data and a more informed utility to make data-driven decisions. Implementation of AMI is expected to reduce water losses in the city’s water distribution system with improved customer meter accuracy, reduced unauthorized consumption, reduced data transfer/archive errors, reduced data billing errors and reduced customer-side leaks by identifying uncharacteristic water use. The system is expected to improve efficiency and save money by:
• remotely and continuously monitoring and diagnosing meter operation issues;
• pre-emptively prioritizing and managing maintenance issues;
• remotely controlling and optimizing all aspects of the distribution systems using data-driven insights; and
• providing customers with the information and tools they need to make informed choices about their behaviors and usage patterns.
A key focus of the project is to enhance efficiencies; address aging infrastructure; and improve the system’s operation, integrity, customer service and sustainability.
The project timeline includes a three-year implementation plan to replace water meters throughout the city. The project is being co-led by the Sugar Land Public Works and Engineering Departments.
“We are following a phased approach, with the first phase completed in 2017,” said Li. “That phase included a cost-benefit analysis that indicated this project will provide real value to our community.”
Phases two through four will include design, procurement and implementation/deployment oversight. The first year of construction is expected to begin in fiscal year 2022. Construction notifications will be distributed to affected homeowners prior to the beginning of work.