District Meter Areas (DMAs) are well established for leakage management but are increasingly being considered as the monitoring unit for other aspects of performance by providing:
- A better understanding of the operational characteristics of the network
- A better understanding of the costs of asset ownership and operation
- The ability to benchmark costs and performance across the network.
This project provided a strategy that utilities can use to assess moving to DMA-level management, overall or for specific cases, so that benefits related to operational response, identifying best practice, procurement, competition and regulation can be achieved.
The research was undertaken for a group of water utilities and WRc has developed proposals for implementation. Specific issues include the effect of operational activity on water quality, the trade-off between operational expenditure and capital maintenance (optimal whole life costs) and realistic performance indicators for staff or contractors (performance incentives and accountability).