Dive into data: the importance of looking at water use and the benefits for your organisation

By Barry McGovaney, Technology and Innovation Manager, Water Plus
The author Peter Drucker, who helped shape the foundations of modern businesses today, once said “you can’t manage, what you can’t measure”. And this is especially important for managing your water consumption.
Why it’s important to look at your water use
You need to understand what you use daily, weekly, monthly and annually, you must understand trends and indeed what normal looks like. Only then can you look at reductions or potential problems that need fixing.
Currently some may opt for looking at billed information. It’s a good starting point but it will only give high level information and may contain estimated meter reads.
So, a good first step is to start reading your water meter at a frequency that suits your operation and needs – whether that’s daily, weekly or monthly to track how your water use changes between reads.
Another option is to install an automatic meter reader (AMR) onto your meter. This will give a meter read every 15 minutes. These AMR data loggers can feed information into a smart portal to help track use and spot unusual increases, which can help those managing utilities see where savings can be made, particularly across large or multiple sites.   
Currently it’s one of the best options to collect in-depth data on water consumption. This level of data will help you to identify baselines and where high and any unexpected water use takes place, which can indicate a leak on the pipes on your site.
A further step you could take is to install sub-meters on certain areas with AMRs installed there too, to add to your data on how much water you use and where more is used at your site/s. 
Taking steps to get more data on the water you use allows you to see when, where and how you use water within your organisation and spot signs that there may be a leak that needs repairing.
Having robust data will allow organisation to set targets and to validate efficiency project savings - in terms of consumption and cost.
And that’s why measuring your consumption is the first step in successfully managing your water consumption.
Discover how we helped QMUL save water using Automatic Meter Reads.
Find out what data loggers we can support you with.
Find out more about Sustain and Gain in 2020 and beyond and how we can help you.
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