Are AMPs causing the drought?
London – Amid the cold and rain of the past few weeks, it’s ironic to see government billboard posters warning people not to wash their cars or water the garden, as we are in ‘drought’.
As well as the low levels of rainfall of previous months, water shortages are being blamed on the utilities’ inability to stem the many millions of gallons of water being lost through leaking pipelines.
But advanced technologies are available, which have proved effective around the world in minimising leaks, for example by helping engineers to identify and locate leaks as and when they occur.
However, as we report in the latest issue of Process Engineering (see article), UK water utilities’ efforts to invest in these – any many other control and automation technologies – are being stymied by the AMP (asset management programme) regimes.
The stop-start investment cycles being created by these five-year AMP plans is preventing many water companies from forming effective technology strategies and the long-term relationships with suppliers needed to sort out leaks and prevent ‘drought’.