Using Technology to Accelerate Conservation


As Arizonans, we know how important water is to our communities. That is why we work together to conserve and protect our water resources. At Global Water Resources (Global Water) we take great pride in being a responsible water, wastewater, and recycled water utility and that’s why, like many other water utilities, we offer customers a variety of programs to encourage and assist with saving water. In addition to traditional programs like conservation rebates and water audits, Global Water has leveraged high-tech meter infrastructure to speed up leak detection and improve water conservation efforts.

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), is a system of water meters that continuously collects usage data and communicates it instantly via wireless transmitters to a remote network.

In Global Water’s largest service area, the City of Maricopa, every meter has full AMI capabilities. Through this AMI network, water use data is collected, stored, and analyzed in an interactive customer portal allowing individuals to be active participants in water conservation.  Customers can monitor household water usage trends, receive leak alerts, and set consumption threshold notifications.

Water consumption information is available by the hour, day, week, month or year resulting in the ability to track periods of high usage and adapt to reduce or optimize water use.

Customers can also set personalized goals for water use using this platform. For example, a customer may be interested in using less than 6,000 gallons per month to qualify for the Global Water conservation rebate. Once a goal is set, the system will monitor usage throughout the month and if it projects usage will exceed the monthly goal, it will send an alert by email message, text message or voice message. Water consumption can then be adjusted to stay on track with the goal.

If the system detects constant flow of water through the meter or abnormally high usage, a leak alert is triggered, and customers receive a text, email or voice message. While all customers are automatically enrolled in this leak detection program, they can tailor their communication preferences and thresholds for alerts.Finding water leaks fast means less water wasted and more money saved. According the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), US household leaks account for nearly 1 trillion gallons of wasted water every year. While large leaks can be easy to spot, a puddle in your front yard or a constant dribble coming from a faucet, small leaks can be more sinister and difficult to find. The aggregated data and trends captured by an AMI network makes it possible to find leaks of any size.

Once a suspected leak is detected, Global Water works with customers to help them find and resolve the problem. Global Water verifies and documents whether the suspected leak was confirmed or ruled out by the customer. The source of the leak is also recorded in order to determine trends in leak sources. Currently, 37%of all confirmed leaks for Global Water customers occur in outdoor watering systems. In the past year, 11,442 leak alerts have been sent to customers.  In 2020 alone an estimated 7,252,783 gallons of water have been conserved as a result.

If you suspect a leak in your home, you can find more conservation and leak detection information on the Global Water website. You can also contact your utility directly for support. In any case, repair water leaks now to help protect our water resources and avoid large water bills!