Water: Too Much, Too Little, Not Clean

Water: Too Much, Too Little, Not Clean

This is a guest blog post by Microsoft’s Adam J. Hecktman, Director of Technology and Civic Innovation for Chicago. To hear more of Adam’s perspective, come meet him at our World Water Day Summit on March 22nd. There is a spotlight on water.  No other natural resource is as critical to life, while being ironically threatening to it.…

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How to Use Multi-Use Networks to Achieve Smart Cities & Water Infrastructure Improvements

How to Use Multi-Use Networks to Achieve Smart Cities & Water Infrastructure Improvements

West Monroe has been promoting the use of multi-use networks to achieve Smart City benefits. Both at the American Water Works Association Illinois chapter meeting, and the most recent M-WERC Smart Cities Technology event in Milwaukee, audiences expressed great interest in learning more. While many Smart City initiatives are underway, West Monroe believes that for Smart City initiatives to be...

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Why Should Utilities Use Technology to Drive Efficiency and Protect Water Quality?

Why Should Utilities Use Technology to Drive Efficiency and Protect Water Quality?

Flint, Michigan has become a lightning rod for attention to the financial needs of water infrastructure in the United States. But the financial issue cannot be separated from the needs of proper utility management. The potable water industry was built with a very conservative approach to operations with the protection of public health, and a philosophy of water quality first and foremost.…

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Five Key Takeaways from DistribuTECH 2016

Five Key Takeaways from DistribuTECH 2016

The dust has settled after a great week in Florida at DistribuTECH, where it was once again clear why this is a “can’t miss” event for those within the Energy and Utility space. This year’s theme “Focus on the Future” accurately captured the tone and frame of mind among the thousands of attendees, including a diverse group of Utilities, service and technology providers, product manufacturers...

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Flint – The Need to Balance Water Management with Science and Business

The Great Lakes, a source of fresh water so great it accounts for over 20% of the surface fresh water on earth.  Yet, some American cities along the Great Lakes have had to go without water due to toxic contamination of the public water supply. In 2014, Toledo shut down its water supply for two days due to the toxicity created by polluted runoff and the consequential algal blooms, a completely...

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Federated or Distributed Versus Consolidated or Shared Services

A utility billing and collection services perspective Not too long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had the responsibility of running one of the largest “meter to cash” operations in the country.  I recall my boss saying many a time during a presentation when numbers related to our scale came up “this slide says we’re big!” Scale was definitely an issue to consider in running my operation and...

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Active Consolidation in the US Water Market is Needed to Keep Pace with Market Demands

While the private sector has a rich history of merging companies for operational efficiencies, or financial gain, the water industry has little experience in this regard.  According to the USEPA, there are 155,000 water providers in the USA. By any definition, this is a highly fragmented industry, with differentiation primarily in the number of customers served, from dozens to millions. …

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Why is Conservation Driving Water Rates Up?

The fixed costs in most water utilities (depreciation, labor, amortization, maintenance, taxes, regulatory compliance, overheads, etc.) are far greater than the fixed charge on a customer’s bills. The commodity charge in theory should cover the variable costs of production only (power, chemicals, and residuals) but that creates a high base bill that neither municipalities nor state regulators...

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Sustainability Touches Work and Recreation

The Energy & Utilities team of West Monroe Partners recently had the opportunity to visit a methane digester, solar array, and brewery during its bi-annual collaboration retreat in Eau Claire, WI. You may notice an outlier in that group of tours. How do Leinenkugel and other breweries relate to sustainability? One of the first things you notice on a tour of any brewery is that it takes a...

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222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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