State Water NSW will spend $45,000 on data collection software for its field operators as it prepares to transition from private to government-controlled flow meters used to assess water distribution.
The new software will be used to collate data for one year as part of a five-year, federally-funded project to replace the water flow meters that measure the distribution of regional bulk water from rivers to industry and agriculture.
Greg Hillis from State Water said if the flow meters are going to be transferred from the irrigation operators to the government, their accuracy and cost of replacement must be assessed first.
“We want to download data from the back-end database to a laptop, then gather data in field and at end of the day it will be updated in the records,” Hillis said.
The number of records taken during any day will range from 50 to 800.
Each year State Water delivers some 5500 gigalitres of water to regional NSW along 7000km of rivers. About 9000 gigalitres of water is saved for the environment.
It also manages 20 dams and more than 280 weirs and regulators to deliver water to consumers and industry.
With Oracle as its corporate database, Hillis said Microsoft Access is already a contender for the client database as it is already in use.
“The field worker will enter the flowrate information manually, or tick the box, and some of this data – about 20 fields – will be uploaded to the corporate database,” he said. “We just want a tool to do a job.”
State Water has 350 staff and operates 43 office throughout NSW.