Conservation Matters October 2016

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Utilities invited to AMI workshops throughout Texas

By Kathy Wythe

Utilities invited to AMI workshops throughout Texas Photo credit: istock.

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Johnson Controls Inc. are holding advanced metering infrastructure system workshops for water utilities personnel in five Texas cities in November.

Dr. Allen Berthold, a TWRI research scientist, said the free workshops are open to municipal employees interested in learning more about various aspects of advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI, system technology. This technology uses water meters to wirelessly transmit hourly household water usage information to water utilities and then potentially to water users through a customer website.

“Efficient household water use is crucial to meeting Texas’ future water demands,” Berthold said. “Using AMI system technology can help water utilities be more efficient by detecting and managing leaks and encouraging water conservation by residents.”

Dates and locations for the trainings are:

  • Nov. 9: Weekley Community Center, 8440 Greenhouse Road, in Cypress.
  • Nov. 10: San Antonio River Authority Waste Water Treatment Facility, 1720 Farm-to-Market Road 1516 N., in San Antonio.
  • Nov. 16: Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., in Fort Worth.
  • Nov. 29: North Texas Municipal Water District, 505 E. Brown St., in Wylie.
  • Nov. 30: Brazos River Authority, 4600 Cobbs Drive, in Waco.

Participants should preregister for the event at nrt.tamu.edu/ami, preferably two weeks before the workshops. Lunch will be provided to those preregistered by that date. Seating is limited to 45 people.

Berthold and Craig Hannah, engineering manager for Johnson Controls’ municipal utility solutions team, are presenting at the workshops. Hannah said training topics include AMI system components; transmitting options; network schematics; mobile automatic meter reading versus fixed-base AMI; line-of-sight communications; comparisons of AMI systems for water-only utilities; health and privacy concerns; and installing AMI. There also will be a discussion of a business case and lessons learned.

“The training will provide public utility providers considering the adoption of an AMI system with different viewpoints and key factors they should consider,” Hannah said.

“Participating in this training is a great opportunity to not only learn about various topics related to AMI systems, but also to network with other utilities and gain some insight into their key considerations and lessons they have learned thus far,” Berthold said.

Berthold will also present information on a current AMI technology research project of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, TWRI and Texas A&M Engineering.

“The project aims to measure changes in water consumption as a result of making hourly water use data available to residents,” he said. 

For more information on upcoming workshops and to register, go to nrt.tamu.edu/ami or contact Berthold at 979.845.2028 or taberthold@ag.tamu.edu.

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