The City of Tucson and Tucson Water have been selected by IBM to receive a Smarter Cities Challenge Grant. This new grant will provide access to IBM's top experts who will help the City to work on engaging their customers and delivering municipal services more efficiently, the grant is for over $400,000.
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild had this to say in a recent news release, "As water provider to a desert community, Tucson Water has long been at the forefront of managing water resources. We are honored to be recognized by IBM for our commitment to conservation and continuous improvement in service delivery."
Tucson is just a small part of the $50 million grant program that IBM is awarding. There will be over 100 cities across the world that will receive these funds in the coming year, from the thousands that applied. The recipients of the grant will have access to select IBM experts, who will provide analysis and recommendations to city leaders, to promote sustainable growth, better delivery of municipal services, allow for more citizen involvement and improve efficiency.
The reason the City of Tucson and Tucson Water were chosen was due to two technology improvements, which were designed to increase water reliability. One, an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) will allow residents to better monitor water use, and the other a System Control and Data Acquistion (SCADA) program allows Tucson Water to monitor all systems in one central area, creating a more efficient utility company.
"Having these two technologies – digital water meters and SCADA – communicate with each other will benefit customers by allowing them to actually monitor water use on a daily basis. In addition, Tucson Water will be able to provide customers with immediate notification of suspected leaks or anomalous levels of water use," said Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest, in the same news release. "This will be complimented by the SCADA system's ability to monitor water use at levels ranging from individual accounts to larger delivery zones, helping us move water around in a more efficient manner, while reducing our energy costs."
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