A $1 million federal grant was awarded to the Western Municipal Water District in Riverside in support of a program installing smart meters on thousands of customers’ homes and businesses as part of an efficiency plan intended to benefit both the utility and consumers, officials said Wednesday.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is disbursing the funds for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure & Consumer Portal Project that Western began under a multi-phase service improvement effort, according to the agency’s general manager, Craig Miller.
“We are sincerely appreciative of the support provided by the Bureau of Reclamation,” Miller said. “This grant award gives Western the opportunity to continue customer self-service enhancements that will support water use efficiency efforts and improved water supply resiliency in our service area.”
Western serves northwest Riverside County, including portions of Box Springs, March Air Reserve Base, Orangecrest, Norco and Woodcrest.
The goal of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure & Consumer Portal Project is to replace more than 17,000 traditional water meters with smart readers capable of transmitting customers’ usage data directly to Western’s headquarters, saving time, reducing the workload of personnel and lowering vehicle emissions that would otherwise be produced from meter readers going to properties.
According to an agency statement, the system will also permit customers to monitor their consumption, enabling them to “identify leaks and maximize water use efficiency.”
The Bureau of Reclamation previously awarded $750,000 for the project, officials said.
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