A number of relatively simple changes, including referring to pump stations by name rather than number, have combined to make online water ordering much easier in NSW.

In all 1700 irrigation customers use State Water’s internet water accounting system (iWAS), an automated online tool that accounts for 60% of the 4600 gigalitres of water ordered on average in regional NSW each year.

The iWAS system, recently the subject of a 12-month upgrade in consultation with customer groups, has reduced incorrect or incomplete water orders to less than 10%, down from approximately 30% in 2009 when the system was first implemented.

State Water Manager Customer Operations, Scott Barber said recent improvements to iWAS – such as a move to single logins, simpler screen displays, and pump sites named by customers instead of identified by numbers – has attracted more users and therefore helped SWC improve service and water delivery efficiencies.

“We introduced the online ordering concept a few years ago, but by listening to users and making customising its features a priority, the system is simpler and more appealing to ease. Customers are also using iWAS as their water usage record system instead of using their own books to keep records.

“Automated ordering means requests are sent direct to the dam without the double-handling and unavoidable time lag previously experienced. It takes a lot of the guess work out of water delivery and that means less water released from dams unnecessarily.

“These most recent improvements reduce the rate of error in customers placing orders, and that also enhances the accuracy of water management and brings greater equity to water use for customers, communities and the environment.

“We have responded to common sense feedback from customers on features like giving extraction points local names that were easier to remember than random numbers, creating one login and a master licence to manage businesses with multiple sites and numerous water entitlement licences for example.

“We gave a commitment that we would overhaul the system in 12 months with minimal disruption and we have successfully accomplished that project, on time and on budget.”

“We would like to thank customers for providing constructive feedback and getting behind this important initiative.”

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