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
Our project partner Suez, along with their contractor NPS, have installed more than our 9,000 meters target for 30 June 2021, instead hitting 9,500. We now have more than 11,500 meters in and working in Mansfield, Broadford, Kialla and Kilmore (with replaced meters in Barmah and Woods Point), and have been billing customers via automated reads. Where we see a continuous flow through the meter, we’ll notify the customer that they may have a significant leak to help prevent large bills and water wastage.
Since installation began, we’ve identified more than 140 properties with minor leaks and six with major leaks of about 5000 litres a day; and we have worked with them to proactively fix leaks to stop water wastage.
Due to worldwide supply chain issues, sourcing intelligent meters has been incredibly difficult.
We’re working on an add-in to the customer portal to allow customers with intelligent meters to see their water usage data. We’re also building on our leak detection notification process - we currently call people to let them know they may have a water leak, but we’re looking to automate this via a text message.
We’re also developing our internal processes or updating them to reflect the intelligent meters, and we’re also recommending the development of District Metered Areas for Kilmore, Broadford, Mansfield and Kialla systems. This network and infrastructure will help track and monitor flows to help improve identification of potential leaks.
A communications and engagement plan has been developed, which will be rolled out over the next phase of the project. This will help inform customers of the portal and ways to use their data to encourage water use behaviour change.
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: 223KB)