AMI Pilot Project

eCoachella Valley Water District is conducting a one year Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Pilot Program to better evaluate the use of AMI technology for domestic water customers. The AMI pilot project will provide CVWD the opportunity to assess AMI functionality and deliverables from multiple potential AMI vendors over a one-year period. During this period, the pilot will test each product’s performance and durability in the extreme weather conditions that the Coachella Valley experiences each year, as well as each system’s ability to integrate with CVWD’s current systems.

AMI consists of “fixed base” antennas for intercepting radio reads from endpoints (meters), backhaul communications, and head-end meter data management through an internet-connected computer. AMI has been gaining momentum and is recognized by many in the industry as an important part of the future of water utility operations and management. The motivation for new systems has shifted from strictly considering labor savings associated with meter reading to emphasizing the benefits of the increased data availability and related meter data management (MDM) capabilities.

Implementing AMI could directly impact CVWD’s pursuit of the Strategic Goals designed to move CVWD forward in executing its mission. The AMI pilot will create the opportunity to evaluate, from real data and experience, the potential impact that AMI could have on CVWD and its customers. The three guiding elements of the pilot project are;

  1. Identify if AMI is an Appropriate Solution for CVWD’s Mission and Goals
  2. Identify CVWD needs for future Request for Proposal and Implementations
  3. Product Feasibility

The direct benefits that customers would receive through an AMI system can typically be connected to proactive customer service and decreased consumption. CVWD plans to initiate discussion groups with the communities where the AMI pilot is taking place to receive feedback from the customers to better understand what benefits they are actually seeing and what value they would attach to those benefits.

Benefits to customers include:

1. AMI Meters Can Provide Timely Notification of Leaks; Replacing traditional water meters with data-centric AMI meters can provide customers with round-the-clock readings and alert them to anomalies that may indicate a leak.

2. AMI Meters Support Customer Conservation Efforts; AMI meters make it easy to set personal budgets and track progress towards meeting conservation goals.

3. AMI Meters Result in Efficient Service; AMI meters help customers receive more efficient service quickly.