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Posted on: May 4, 2021

Town stands to see significant water savings with new customer portal

WaterSmart Computer

The Town of Prescott Valley stands to see an estimated 48 million gallons of water per year savings after a new WaterSmart Customer Portal goes into service later this summer.

 The Town provides drinking water to more than 22,200 customers, representing approximately 50,000 people. In the past several years, Prescott Valley has converted its entire water system to radio-read meters that improve efficiency and accuracy as well as directly upload water use information to an electronic database. Currently, approximately 70 percent of those meters are Flex Net automatically read meters that provide hourly water usage data to the billing department.   

Through a Water Management Assistance grant from the Arizona Department of Water Resources, and matching Town funds, the Town will convert the remaining meters to automatic read over the next three years. The data collection, through the WaterSmart Portal, will provide state of the art leak detection, billing services, outage and maintenance notices, historic water use and conservation information in real-time directly to water customers.  

The WaterSmart Portal leak detection feature is estimated to save more than 2 million gallons of water per year and reduce costs for customers who would typically pay for water leaks. The Town calculates that 3.27 million gallons of water per year, on average, are lost due to water leaks that are not recognized until the monthly billing cycle is completed.  The Water Smart portal will recognize and report those leaks that occur on the Flex Net read accounts in real-time, with an estimated annual savings of 2.25 million gallons.  Once the system is fully converted to Flex Net read accounts, all leaks can be recognized and addressed in real time, with corresponding additional water savings and reduced costs to customers.  All customers that participate will be part of the leak detection and notification program through this portal.  

Prescott Valley water customers have shown in the past that they are highly responsive to voluntary water conservation efforts that are incentive focused rather than regulatory. In 2005, the Town implemented a tiered rate incentive program to focus on water conservation.  The Town’s water customers showed a tremendous response to this program and dropped average water use by 20 percent or more in just three years, using the tools provided by the regional Water Smart educational program in the Prescott Active Management Area, of which the Town is an active participant. 

Prescott Valley’s average per-capita water use of 100 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) is one of the lowest in the State.  It is also well below the target level for Prescott Valley set in the AMA’s Fourth Management Plan of 125 GPCD.   This level of water conservation was obtained through the self-directed efforts of the water customers – demonstrating that water users in Prescott Valley actively seek tools to lower their water use and water bills.  The Water Smart Customer Portal will provide additional tools not yet available in the service area such as voluntary water conservation challenges.  The additional water savings achievable through these water conservation tools are estimated to save a  further 46 million gallons of water per year.  

Water conservation measures for the Town of Prescott Valley are a requirement of ADWR’s Municipal Non Per-Capita Water Conservation Program. The Town has spent more than $1.7 million on automatic read infrastructure in the past decade and has committed to the full conversion of the remaining 6,685 radio read meters within the system, at an additional cost of more than $1 million. 

For more information on the upcoming WaterSmart Portal and water management in Prescott Valley, please visit www.pvaz.net/240/Water-Resources/ 

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