The City of Dallas Water Department is currently going through a renaissance that will benefit the entire City of Dallas. Under the leadership of Jody Puckett, the water department has recently undertaken a series of improvement projects to revamp the city?s archaic water billing infrastructure.
For years IT leadership,
community activists, city department heads and council members have noted their
discomfort with the continually aging information system used for a large amount
of revenue flowing into the city. The city currently relies on manual water
meters that must be reviewed by a field employee every month to record water
usage. After usage is calculated, the figures
are then fed into an aging IBM mainframe computer that provides billing for
approximately $550 million dollars of revenue each
To meet these impending needs,
the water department has been rolling out automated water meters in the central
business district. These water meters read water
usage levels automatically by driving a specialized truck down the street,
reducing the costs of reading the meters.
The most inspiring thing about Ms. Puckett?s leadership is illustrated with her recent comments to the Finance and Audit Committee. ?I am professionally and PERSONALLY committed to completing this project?. Having worked with more half-hearted private sector directors than I care to count, her commitment is heartening.
Ms. Puckett has charted a new
course for the water department that is worthy of our praise. The Commission on
Productivity & Innovation is supporting the agenda item that was approved
unanimously by the city council this week. The systems implementation project is
scheduled to begin in the next couple of months.