Water AMI Guidance Manual

Advanced Metering Infrastructure – A Guidance Manual for Water Utilities

With AMI, water utilities can dramatically streamline their meter-to-cash operations while simultaneously enhancing customer service. AMI also provides a quantum increase in data useful for managing non-revenue water, conservation programs, distribution system operation, capital planning and rate setting. AMI can be the backbone for other “smart utility” and “smart city” applications. 

AMI systems are major investments, and both enable and—to be cost-effective—require changes in business practices and policies. AMI impacts many different departments and functions within a utility.  AS AMI project proceeds through several stages—from initial exploration through feasibility study, to procurement and contract negotiations, installation, operation and maintenance, and business process transformation—it requires a great deal of organizational coordination.

AMI systems rely on communication and information technologies, which are continually evolving as a result of technology advances, increasing concerns about cybersecurity and privacy, and a changing commercial landscape. Conversely, to recoup their investment, utilities need AMI systems to have long service lives, typically 10 to 20 years. There is still little interoperability between components from different AMI manufacturers, and migration strategies from older meter reading systems can be confounding.

This guidance manual attempts to cover most aspects of AMI projects.  It is a compilation of new as well as updated material created and distilled by the author from some forty years of research, consulting and working with utilities in the areas of water meters, AMR, AMI, customer service, information technology, and water conservation. While it cannot cover everything in depth, and some aspects may quickly become outdated, it provides a practical structure for thinking about and managing AMI projects, as well as tools and examples.  


  • Introduction (history, driving forces)
  • AMI Technology
  • AMI Benefits
  • AMI Feasibility Study
  • AMI Procurement
  • AMI Implementation and Project Management
  • Redesigning Business Processes with AMI

Price:  $124.95 (plus $9.95 shipping and handling).  Copies of the manual may be ordered from the Alliance for Water Efficiency at https://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/resources/topic/advanced-metering-infrastructure-guidance-manual-water-utilities

Accurately measuring customer water usage has made large strides in recent years with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) now becoming much more prevalent in the water industry. As water shortages increase, and as water supplies are becoming stretched to meet growing consumer demand, public and private water systems must turn to the latest and most advanced technologies. The water industry has evolved from standard meters to automatic meter reading (AMR) to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), but in that process there are issues to manage in order to achieve the best possible results. From interoperability concerns to challenges in analyzing large quantities of real time customer data, a water utility needs the best advice and guidance on how to procure the most suitable AMI meters, how to integrate them within the utility’s customer information systems, and how to manage and properly utilize the reams of data coming from AMI meters.

Mary Ann Dickinson
President and CEO
Alliance for Water Efficiency