After South West Water published its long-term vision to keep them going till 2050, we explore how the industry might take heed of the specific water and wastewater service improvements the company plans to deliver.

Price
Customer workshops & focus groups are an excellent way of talking with households & businesses on the issue of price. Since there are both micro-businesses & low income households that already struggle to pay, this should become a priority for water companies before they decide to invest in other areas.

Knowing how these customers use water is crucial as any advice given will be more likely acted upon if it is specific to their situation. How do you find this information out? Well-designed surveys or high-resolution smart metering will do the trick. 

 
  
 
Investment
Companies should consider targeting investment in areas where they are at risk of failing any quality standard or where customers have reason to complain. Although there were only 182 serious, significant or major water quality incidents reported by water companies in 2016, there were 95, 274 written complaints recorded!

Effectively engaging with customers will significantly reduce complaints and call handling times. Dashboards which show customers how much money they are spending on that shower/garden hose/washing machine in realtime is possibly the best way to engage and influence customers.
 
 
 
Equipment
Companies will want to ensure new equipment is amongst the most advanced on the market which responds to issues before they become a problem by continually monitoring and analysing the network.
As well as network-side monitoring at District Metred Areas, rolling out customer side sub metering has huge potential and would give much higher resolution insight into consumption and leakage.
 
 
 
Damage Limitation 
Extreme events like flooding, storms & cyber attacks should not impact on the services that customers receive.  When vital assets such as water pumping stations and treatment works were left unprotected in 2007 for example, it resulted in sewer flooding in some people’s homes and drinking water affected. Daily checks on groundwater supplies would ensure they are not becoming contaminated with flood and storm water. Or better still, automated Smart Water Meters which continuously monitors water quality
 
 
Environmental  
It is becoming more important than ever for companies to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy generation. – SWW has a long-term goal of generating 50% of its energy on site by 2050.

Here at Quensus, while we don’t have all the answers, we do have intelligent, high resolution submetering, which gives:

  • Detailed insight into customer consumption,
  • Improved customer service and satisfaction – by providing their own water management dashboard, and remotely managing customer-side issues,
  • Reduction of water consumption per-capita,
  • More accurate knowledge of customer-side leakage,
  • Water quality information at customer-facing outlets.

 

Click here to find out about Quensus intelligent submetering and how they can help your customers manage water.