Zero visibility: Issues in Water Use Data Resolution

By David Wegman, CTO, Valor Water

In the beginning -- that is, before HD television -- there was standard definition television.  Back then, nobody complained much about the quality of the image.  In reality, the reason why people didn't make a fuss was that they didn't know what they were missing out on.  The same goes for the transition from cassette tapes to CDs and a host of other evolutionary enhancements in audio/visual quality over the years.  Ignorance is bliss.

We are now seeing some parallels in the era of data.  Utility metering data is a typical example.  As Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) continues to be deployed, we are increasingly able to detect signals that were previously hidden.  This new visibility is driven by the greater number of data points per time interval that accompanies a smart meter deployment.  Whereas pre-AMI water meters are typically read around once per month, so as to coincide with a monthly billing interval, AMI can provide a meter reading once per hour -- a 720x increase in the number of data points.

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