- The National Water Commission (NWC) has signed a US$7.23 million contract for the procurement of 50,000 solid state water meters for the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).
- Funding for the undertaking comes under the NWC’s KMA Water Supply Improvement Programme, which is backed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
- The devices are intended to address the issue of non-revenue water, which is water that is lost through leaks or theft.
The National Water Commission (NWC) has signed a US$7.23 million contract for the procurement of 50,000 solid state water meters for the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).
Funding for the undertaking comes under the NWC’s KMA Water Supply Improvement Programme, which is backed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The contractor for the project is Deryck A. Gibson Limited, while Germany-based company, DIEHL Metering, is the manufacturer of the meters.
The devices are intended to address the issue of non-revenue water, which is water that is lost through leaks or theft.
In his address at the signing ceremony held on November 10 at the NWC’s New Kingston offices, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change,
Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the initiative will improve the NWC’s service to its consumers.
“The specific objective of the programme is to increase the operational efficiency of the NWC by improving the quality of its services to Kingston and St. Andrew as well as reducing related costs. This includes the reduction of operational expenditure by reducing non-revenue water while reducing energy costs,” he noted.
The NWC will be installing the digital meters over a one-year period at residential premises and commercial entities in the KMA. The move follows a pilot project conducted on over 500 units at the Long Mountain Development in 2013.
The first shipment of 8,000 meters is slated to be delivered by the end of November this year, with the remainder to be supplied in 2016.
President of the NWC, Mark Barnett, told JIS News that the project will be rolled out on a phased basis.
“We will be going out and changing the… (older) meters that are already there…we have some customers that…consume more water than others, so we will be targeting those because that makes better business sense. We will be installing the meters in clusters, so rest assured, the people in the more clustered domestic areas will be targeted,” he informed.
The NWC President said the meters are “among a new generation of metering instruments and technology,” which allow for leak detection and does not require maintenance.
They have a life cycle of approximately 15 years, which is a marked improvement over the older generation of meters, which have to be replaced on average every five years.
Moreover, the device is tamper proof and can be remotely accessed, which reduces the necessity for NWC technicians to conduct home visit meter readings.
Mr. Barnett said the new devices are not affected by sediments in the water, which will ensure that an accurate reading is given.
“Something that our customers are always concerned about is the accuracy of the measurement of the water meter. We do get complaints from time to time and we are always looking for means and ways to ensure that those complaints are reduced as much as possible. One of the things that the solid state meters provide is improved accuracy in measurement, both at low flow … (and high flow). It gives us much better information relating to particular customers. We will be able to detect usage patterns,” the NWC President noted.