The Christchurch City Council has successfully implemented SAP S/4HANA, driving a 13% reduction in household water consumption. It projects this figure to rise to approximately 20% in the coming year. Subsequently, a quarter of citizens with high water usage—those consuming over 6,000 litres daily—have rectified water leaks.
The digitisation efforts are part of an initiative to improve the long-term sustainability of the council's water supply. This has been heralded as especially crucial as Kiwi officials warn that the El Niño climate system could pose a heightened threat of drought.
Maintaining a network of wells, reservoirs, pipes, pump stations, and aquifers to supply nearly 148,000 households with water, Christchurch City Council was acutely aware of the problem of excess water usage. High demand is often noted during the summer in particular. Unequal usage distribution was a notable concern, with a mere 4% of households found to use more than 23% of the entire residential water supply, mainly for outdoor irrigation and gardening, as well as unidentified leaks.
To counteract this, the council enacted a new excess water rate via a second instance of SAP S/4HANA. This would aid in managing water demand and mitigating the risk of pressure drops in the network over the summer while also reducing necessary funds for network expansion to meet demand, thereby bolstering the long-term sustainability of its water supply.
Leah Scales, General Manager of Resources and Chief Financial Officer at Christchurch City Council stated: "Christchurch City Council is focused on driving sustainable outcomes for our district and meeting our climate change goals. We knew we needed a best-in-class solution, which is why we selected SAP. Through the implementation of SAP S/4HANA, we have been able to effectively reduce demand on the water network and save on the cost of building and maintaining our wells, pumping stations, reservoirs, and other network infrastructure."
Scales noted that as Christchurch residents have become increasingly engaged with water preservation and sustainability, shifts in their water usage behaviour have begun to emerge, and more leaks are being discovered and fixed to prevent water wastage. The website’s water reporter page has seen more than 444,000 visits, highlighting the growing public interest in water sustainability.
Nick Quin, Director of Public Sector at SAP New Zealand, highlighted the critical role technology plays in creating a sustainable future and enhancing people’s lives. He commented, "Only by recording, reporting, and acting on actual sustainability data can organisations deliver tangible sustainability outcomes. By using SAP S/4HANA, the council can drive meaningful long-term impact for its residents and create a more sustainable future for its people."