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Digital innovation in Mackay

Mackay Council has taken home the Digital Innovation in Local Government category at the 2016 National Awards for Local Government for a project titled Transforming a Water Business.

Salsa Digital 23 May 2016

About the awards

The National Awards for Local Government are an opportunity to showcase and reward local governments that deliver innovative and resourceful solutions to benefit their citizens.  

The awards have ten categories, covering everything from excellence in road safety to digital innovation.

The digital innovation project

The Mackay Council project is titled Transforming a Water Business and had three components—an automated meter infrastructure, MiWater and the myh2o website.

At the myh2o website, property owners, tenants and real estate agents can log in and view the real-time water usage for properties they’re responsible for. Users can also set email and SMS alerts so they’re notified if water usage suddenly surges (indicating a water leak). Once a user has logged in, they can instantly see water usage in their ‘dashboard’ and access My Properties, My Alerts, and My Profile as well as more general information like contact us and water-saving tips. From individual properties, users can see their average usage or cost per day and their month-by-month usage/costs. Alternatively, they can check usage or costs within a specific date range.  

In the Mackay Council’s summary of the project, the Council states: “Together, the Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology and the myh2o website identifies and informs council and its residents of water leaks and high consumption faster, saving everyone time, money and our most precious resource – water. Around 12 per cent of residential properties were successfully informed of water leaks last year, significantly reducing water loss and the associated costs to our clients.”

The technology has been passed on to Water and Waste Services (WWS) and this utility is now sharing the software with water utilities in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Salsa Digital’s take

We think this is a great way to save time and money (not to mention the valuable resource of water) using technology. It shows digital transformation in government at the local level, using a website and tailored hardware to deliver innovative solutions that benefit Aussie citizens (in this case Mackay residents).

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