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Shirpur-Warwade: A drought-struck town in India that achieved sustainable water supply with a small step

by businesswireindia.com

Business Wire India
Shirpur-Warwade located in the north of Maharashtra became the first town in India to have 100% metered connections for water supply across the town in 2018. Shirpur-Warwade Municipal Council (SWMC) helped its residents take their big leap towards a sustainable water future when they incorporated Kamstrup's smart water metering solution as part of the milestone project of establishing 24×7 water supply. 

This step mitigated many problems at grass-root level, including billing issues, misreadings and keeping a tab on water wastage in households and commercial establishments. With the incorporation of ultrasonic smart water meters and automatic meter reading solution, SWMC was able to: 1. Reduce the billing cycle by 1/3rd; 2. Save 4 million litres of water each day; 3. Record 100% revenue collection post meter installation; 4. Manage field service and customer complaints efficiently.

Kamstrup smart meters overcome the shortcomings of traditional meters like air measurement, low flow challenges and recalibration and repair every few years. In addition to their life-long pinpoint accuracy, the benefits include smart alarms that detect incidents like leak, burst and tamper. And the robust Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) solution drastically reduces manual efforts and risks of human error. Thereby, building transparency and efficiency in delivery.

“Our daily water supply has gone from 12 million litres to 8 million litres, so we are saving a lot of water. Also, issuing water bills used to take us 2 months but with the AMR system it only takes 4-5 days including reading, billing and bill distribution, so we are saving lot of time as well” – Shri Madhav Patil, City Engineer, SWMC.

Since the beginning of meter installation in 2014, Kamstrup has been actively involved with SWMC as a change management partner. This included conducting training sessions and reading trials for council employees to empower them with grievance handling and preparing consumer demos to ensure transparency and trust between the council and its customers. 

The actual installation was also a challenge. Narrow lanes and dense housing infrastructure, made it impossible to install meters in the traditional horizontal position. However, due to ultrasonic technology, Kamstrup meters work equally well in any direction and could, therefore, be installed in vertical position. 

Daily water supply reduced by 33% and with the smart metering solution, they are now recording, monthly readings and issuing quarterly bills based on volume consumption, which has benefitted both SWMC and Shirpur citizens. 

“Today it is much easier to track consumption and customers complaints have reduced a lot,” says Shri Ulhas Agarwal, then HOD – Water Supply, SWMC. In addition, improved ease of operation in day-to-day tasks and supply process efficiency translates into an increased level of service from the field service department and boost employee performance and morale. 

The efforts SWMC put into generating awareness about water conservation and consumption-based billing has paid-off. In the last two years, the number of high-volume consumers showed a sharp decline and the otherwise low consumption consumers are now seen on the map due to transparent and automatic meter reading mechanism. The council has now realized and converted many unauthorized connections, thereby adding accountability at each step. 

“We usually see a huge spike in water consumption in May compared to April due to the summer season, but this time, thanks to customer awareness and meter installation, we have actually been able to save 15 million litres of water in May, 2018,” says Shri. Amol Bagul, Chief officer, SWMC. 

Shirpur citizens, after seeing their exact consumption reading being billed, are now committed to conserving water. 
Source: Businesswire