Smart water management systems improve efficiencies in Guiyang City, People’s Republic of China
Established in 1938, Guiyang Water Company started out as a forestry and farming water resources company in the capital of Guizhou Province, the People’s Republic of China.
After more than 7 decades, the organization saw several transformations until it became the Guiyang Beikong Water Group Company (BEWG).
BEWG, a publicly-owned water utility, currently serves around 2.1 million people covering six districts (Yunyan, Nanming, Guan Shanhu, Wudang, Xiao He, and Huaxi). With nearly 1,500 personnel, BEWG operates eight water plants, 17 pump stations, and a distribution network of about 1,700 kilometers. Its operation is capable of producing around 600 million liters of water on a daily basis, serving 97% of its coverage area.
With such massive inventory of equipment and infrastructure under its responsibility, BEWG recognized the need to upgrade its asset management program in order to maintain and further improve the delivery of services to its ever-growing customer base. In coordination with the China Urban Water Association, ADB’s focal partner for WOPs in the country, BEWG became a recipient of CWW’s mentorship.
Both agencies held a series of study visits, remote consultations (through e-mail and video chat) in between visits, and training of personnel to facilitate technology and knowledge transfer.
Over 2 years (April 2013 to July 2015) the partnership also focused on implementing an asset inventory and maintenance program on all water supply assets of BEWG within a selected pilot area within the Wudang district. Through the introduction and development of a smart water management system (SWMS), information was collected on all the assets (location and prevailing condition) and maintained in a database, which later served as inputs in the development of a preventive maintenance program Pipeline Asset Management System.
Monitoring the success of the asset management activity was carried out through of a range of key performance indicators (KPIs). The results were positive despite the protracted time over which it was implemented:
Improved ability of technical personnel to know the exact location of BEWG’s assets at any given time;
Improved staff awareness on the importance of asset management and its practices;
Reduced time allotted for network repairs and shorter periods of downtime;
Increased awareness on potential construction standard issues particularly in areas where maintenance works are carried out
Establishment of a centralized team responsible for implementing and improving asset management across all of BEWG’s six districts; and
Establishment of performance incentives for field supervisors and maintenance staff to carry out repair works at the shortest possible time.
News of Wudang’s successful asset management pilot testing eventually reached neighbouring districts. Huaxi district followed suit using the same system and format used in Wudang.
The partnership between BEWG and CWW has opened up new frontiers and opportunities. Convinced of the promising value of improving operations, BEWG management decided to expand the coverage of SWMS to its entire operational area.
The roll-out is expected to be implemented within the next 3–5 years.