Testing facility constructed for accurate water metering

Wednesday, 02 May, 2007

Water savings and water accountability were highlighted through inspection of the newly developed "˜FlowLab', capable of certifying water control infrastructure, to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems through improved metering.

An AWMA Pty Ltd innovation, FlowLab is an open-flow verification and research facility based in Cohuna.

Flows from 0.5 to 100 ML per day can be monitored in true open channel conditions, enabling accurate verification of flows through water control infrastructure (including meters and meter emplacements).

John Cobb, Assistant Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, was impressed by the facility and the accuracies it can obtain. The test facility was also praised for supporting the Australian water industry in fast-tracking the development of accurate water-saving infrastructure.

The current drought and subsequent water shortages have focused the attention of governments and water users on water efficiency, accountability and more accurate metering devices.

Standards Australia and the National Metering Institute are developing legislation which requires all irrigation meters meet new national standards. To achieve this, all meters must be tested in a NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia) certified flow test facility. Hence FlowLab was constructed.

Brett Kelly, general manager of AWMA, said FlowLab was the first of its kind in Australia, possibly the largest in the world and would provide the Australian water industry many national and international opportunities.

"The accuracies gained from using FlowLab will result in better accountability, more equitable water distribution and ultimately, greater economic and environmental sustainability for Australia," Kelly said.

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