The Customer Challenge

This customer faced the challenge of accurately reporting water usage for filing returns to the local authority. With an allocation of water across the property, the ‘usual’ method of reading mechanical meters and sending the usage report to Council had become both onerous and precarious. Onerous as time taken daily was eating into other important work, precarious as the usage fluctuated and could impact on the allocation of water by Council.

The challenge for the customer was to find a solution that reduced time while providing a more accurate total for Council than mechanical meters.

How we helped the customer

We asked the customer if there was any specific water usage he wanted to track, rather than just a total amount. The customer was interested to know how much water went to irrigator use and how much to a single trough in the ‘home’ paddock.

FlowInfo configured the system to track usage to the chosen points and using the irrigation timing, the allocation of water use was created in the online system.

Outcome

With an allocation for the areas designated to be tracked of an allowable 72,000L per month the FlowInfo system was able to identify that the usage was below the allocation – by just over 6,000L.

The Benefits

The customer benefitted from a large reduction in time commitment as the data upload processes took less than 15 seconds. The total usage was reported almost instantaneously online so both the customer and Council could see daily the uptake and use.

The Council was equally happy, the human element had been removed and they could see the same numbers electronically. FlowInfo even built them a comparison against Consented allocation to show the ‘more’ or ‘less’ against the allocation amount.

Unforeseen benefits

Maintenance and leaks: The irrigators showed unequal volumes despite running for the same time from the same pump. The customer discovered that one irrigator shut down early or did not run at all, diagnosed as a timer issue, the faulty timing programme was reset, and the timer unit replaced.

Cost Benefit

Recovering a crop that could have been lost was worth the initial investment, and as our customer said, “We have been able to use our human resources a lot more profitably on the property, salvage a nearly damaged crop and look at our animal health overall.”

The Future

Working with the Council has provided the customer with the security that his allocation won’t be affected by Resource Changes to the overall water allocation. Going forward FlowInfo are being asked to install technology across his property to monitor all his water usage.

We believe this is a win for both our customer and the local Council.