3E) Assistance with water efficiency and leak detection - through the peak demand project

About this project

Our infrastructure capacity is developed for new areas in towns based on expected population growth and future modelling. If capacity of the water mains is exceeded, water pressure will decline to unacceptable levels. Kilmore, Mansfield, Kialla Lakes and Broadford are experiencing significant population growth; and peak water use (i.e. in the evenings, when families might be showering, running the dishwasher and watering gardens) is presenting capacity constraints.
Upgrading the water mains would require an investment of about $10 million within the next five years. However, if we can work with customers to ‘smooth’ the peak demand, we could avoid or delay the need for an upgrade and these savings could be passed on to customers.
One option to delay spending and combat peak demand is providing customers with intelligent meters, along with information on how to use water more efficiently.

Actions to date

We have been investigating available and suitable intelligent metering technologies to determine the best option for GVW. As a result, we have a better understanding of the technology, which influenced a resulting Expression of Interest (EoI) released last year. We have now finalised a review of all the responses and our Request for Tender documentation, and the tender went out in mid-May.
A meter survey has been carried out on 25% of meters in the four towns to understand site conditions to better inform the contractor and help ensure more accurate replacement costs. We have decided to implement an end-to-end process, meaning one vendor will provide the entire intelligent metering system to help ensure a smooth process.

What's next?

Once we’ve awarded the contract, we’ll begin to install meters over the next 12 months. We will confirm the accuracy of the data transfer process, and help customers access the new data through our online portal. We will also use the data to proactively identify potential leaks.
A customer education and engagement program will run during the intelligent meter project so customers understand exactly what will be occuring and how accessing the data can have benefits for them.
We’ve had to slightly change the timing of the project from what was originally outlined in our pricing submission. The project will now see intelligent meters installed in Kilmore, Mansfield, Broadford and Kialla by 30 June, 2021; as we’ve been delayed by onboarding key new members for the project team, as well as a greater-than-expected EoI response. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has also resulted in slight delays, but we’ll be working to complete the project as soon as possible. 

Our accountability for this project

In the event of the Peak Demand Reduction Project not being successful, more than $10m of capital will need to be expended by GVW.

For this information in PDF form, click here to download the factsheet (PDF: 297.3KB)