The SB-555 Water Audit: What is It and How Will it Affect Water Utilities?
The bill, entitled “SB-555 Urban retail water suppliers: water loss management,” has various implications for water companies across the state.
Following is a review about what the bill mandates and how water utilities can comply with the required water audit.
What Does the Bill State? Existing legislation under the California Water Action Plan, which was first implemented in 2014 by Governor Brown as part of a sustainable water action plan, requires the state to reduce urban per capita water use by 20 percent. The timeline for achieving this is the end of 2020, and requires urban water retailers to develop water use targets.
The SB-555 water audit legislation, adopted January 2017, now requires urban water companies to submit a yearly validated water loss audit report that documents their previous year’s activity. The water audit must adhere to the methods set forth by the American Water Works Association and be conducted by a certified water loss auditor.
This information will be delivered in accordance with the Department of Water Resources, which will post reports online to allow for cross-company comparisons and public viewing. Additionally, the department must offer technical assistance and the State Water Resources Control Board must adopt the rules by no later than July 1, 2020. The water audit is mandatory for every utility with more than 3,000 service connections or which produce 3,000-acre feet of water annually.
To validate an audit, water suppliers must use a technical expert, who can leverage their expertise to confirm data entries while characterizing quality. The department will adopt standardized methods for submitting their report, while urban retail water suppliers adhere to standards outlined in the latest version of the American Water Works Association’s Water Audits and Loss Control Program, Free Software, and Manual M36. Companies must supply their audit on or before October 1st of each year. The State Water Resources Control Board will contribute $400,000 toward assistance in water loss audit validation for urban water retailers.
Who Is Involved?
Each audit should be attested to by an organization’s chief engineer, general manager, or chief financial officer. If an audit is submitted in an incomplete fashion, it will be returned to its sender to be updated and sent back within 90 days. The technical assistance offered by the state water board includes pressure management techniques, metering techniques, condition-based assessment techniques, permanent water loss detection devices, and much more. The board will later incorporate performance standards, alongside life-cycle cost accounting for evaluation. It might also establish a minimum water loss threshold, which would exempt suppliers from further water loss requirements.
How is Nobel Systems Involved?
To help companies track water loss, Nobel Systems is leveraging its geospatial services and cloud technology. This can integrate with a company’s existing infrastructure, facilitating the sharing of water loss data during each water audit. Nobel Systems Chief Technology Officer Aretha Samuel is a certified water audit validator. This creates scope for collaboration, where Nobel can execute mandatory audit requirements for its clients. Nobel Systems is currently undertaking a water loss audit validation for the Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District.
Nobel Systems to implement a GIS solution at the Valley County Water District, Baldwin Park, CA
Excited to announce that the Valley County Water District has awarded a GIS solutions implementation project to Nobel Systems. Valley County Water District is the principal public water utility serving the residents and businesses within a 10-square mile community located in the San Gabriel Valley, encompassing portions of the City of Baldwin Park, the City of Irwindale, the City of West Covina, and the City of Azusa. The Valley County Water District system supplies the potable water needs and demands of nearly 75,000 residents through 12,470 water delivery service connections.
Nobel Systems will convert all paper based data in the District’s office to a state of the art GIS system. Nobel will then host the data through its flagship cloud based GeoViewer Online. This will have an immediate positive impact providing digital records online, allowing field crews to isolate valves during a shutdown and ensure that up to date is available at all times. “We were very impressed to see GeoViewer Online in action, and to have an up to date electronic information of all our assets” said Jose L. Martinez, General Manager of the District.
The City of Hawthorne selects Nobel Systems to provide enterprise cloud GIS services.
ChumDan GeoSpatial Information signs a business partner agreement with Nobel Systems
October 19, 2016 – ChumDan GeoSpatial Information signs a business partner agreement with Nobel Systems to represent the company in South Korea. ChumDan is a leading company in Seoul in aerial photography, underground facilities surveying and digital mapping. “We are very excited to be a part of Nobel Systems’ partner network, helping to bring advanced water and wastewater GIS solutions to one of the world’s fastest growing markets,” said Edwin Koh, General Manager of ChumDan. “It was important to us to find a strong partner that not only had proven, market-leading services, but also shared our vision for scaling up excellence in GIS-centric solutions. Nobel Systems clearly embodies the best in class.”
“We are pleased to welcome ChumDan to our partner network, and we look forward to having their expertise in helping us take advantage of the vast opportunities in the South Korean market,” noted Michael Samuel, President & CEO of Nobel Systems. “With their strong client base, industry expertise and excellent reputation for customer service, ChumDan further enhances our ability to offer the very best software solutions and support to our customers in this key Asian country.”
From left to right: Edwin Koh, General Manager, ChunDan GeoSpatial, Michael Samuel, President, Nobel Systems & Doug Jacobson, Commercial Attache of the United States Commercial Service.