26 Mar 2021

Smart Water meters and real time data deliver significant water and business cost savings

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In 2020, we completed a project to install smart meters on main flow gate water meters in our Westfield Living Centres with the aim of providing our facilities teams real time data and insights to support water management across all of our centres.  

New smart meters were primarily installed across our ACT, NSW and QLD centres, as smart meters were already installed at our Victorian centres, and data loggers supplied by water authorities were in place in SA and WA. 

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With the smart meters installed, our facilities teams now receive real time data about water usage and variances via our Environmental Data Reporting Platform.  

In addition, we piloted an additional Data Insights and Notification Program called AWARE, which delivers actionable insights for each Living Centre, notably the centre’s baseflow (the litres of water used per minute) and any fluctuations to this baseline on an hourly and daily basis.  

Access to this combined data in real time, has assisted our facilities teams in the identification of leaks and losses within much shorter periods of time than in the past, in addition to alerting centres when their base flow is considered to be higher than our average centre. Over the course of 2020, these insights have assisted in saving around 50,000 litres of water loss.  

Our Westfield Warringah Mall Facilities Manager, Tim Parker said:

“In the past we would have relied on monthly water use estimates and water utility invoices to inform water use trends and subsequent action. Having access to real time data allows us to swiftly respond, identify the issues and rectify it as quickly as possible. Having smart technology results in water loss via leaks and losses being actioned in shorter timelines. It also allows us to focus on improving our water management practices to reduce our overall usage.” 

Data Accuracy & Internal Insights Reporting  

A key element of any smart meter solution is to ensure data accuracy. With smart meter technology installed across our entire Living Centre portfolio, we undertook a validation and verification exercise to confirm the accuracy of our smart meters compared to our water utility invoices.  

We considered a 95 per cent accuracy level in this data to be the appropriate benchmark to both inform and drive daily performance improvements. 

With improved accuracy of our data, in Q4 2020, we created a Weekly Water Use Report generated by our support office team and issued to all Facilities Managers to support their management of centre water. This weekly report, in addition to proving highly valuable water use insights, enhances accountability for our Living Centres to perform relative to their regional peers.  

As we move into 2021, we will continue to build our internal data and insights capability around water usage to drive further efficiencies in our water management plans and will continue to produce our Weekly Water Use Report.  

Combined with our Environmental Data Reporting Platform, our focus on water use reduction has never been greater and as we embed our new reporting into the business across 2021, we are confident we will see a marked improvement in water use and a decrease in our overall centres’ water intensity. 
 

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