According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 states are facing water shortages and at least 40 states are anticipating water shortages by 2024. The solution to this crisis is a combination of smart water metering and water conservation. But many American homes are still using old mechanical water meters. Automated, digital meters are superior and will help resolve modern urban water problems.
Smart Water Meter Components
Both business and residential properties can benefit enormously from digital water meters, also known as smart water meters. This technology uses compact solid-state solutions to provide up-to-date data on indoor conditions that are affected by the outdoor environment and water systems. It's effective for weatherproofing, as well as for cutting costs on water bills. Electronic water metering also provides data that cannot be captured by traditional meters, such as gallons per minute of water flow, reverse flow, and more.
Additionally, the combination of a secure network and smart water metering of water consumption data provides a more efficient and superior solution than traditional methods. It allows for residential and commercial customers to easily check their usage levels and patterns online
Why Old Water Meters Must Be Replaced
Like all other types of mechanical equipment, old water meters experience wear and tear, which reduce accuracy in measuring consumption. Factors such as hard water, debris and corrosion contribute to degradation of performance as this piece of equipment ages. Consequently, inaccurate meter readings can lead to inaccurate billing, resulting in a potential 15-25 percent decline in revenue. Studies have shown that over 2 trillion gallons of water are lost each year due to aging, leaking or broken pipes.
Now, through the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technologies, utilities are paving the way toward automated data collection. These smart solutions have the ability to detect water leaks and deliver other data in real time to analysts who use it for system streamlining.
Advantages of Using Smart Water Meters
Smart water meters offer several benefits for utilities, municipalities and customers alike, including:
- Access to real-time water usage data – smart metering provides daily data that helps both utilities and customers assess usage
- More accurate billing than traditional metering - cities can save billions of dollars in lost revenue, while customers can have more control over how they consume water
- Opportunities to detect water leakage early and optimize water revenue – with the ability to detect leaks early in real time, utilities can increase revenue, while helping customers save money as well
- Up or down scalability - AMI technologies allow for better integration with newer technologies
- Precision accuracy in water usage - smart meters can quantify usage all the way down to water drops
New Investment Directions for Water Utilities
Water utilities are increasingly encouraging customers to pay closer attention to studying water usage and practicing conservation methods. This direction is preparing people for smart city technologies, which allow for greater flexibility in decisions on water use. With real-time monitoring of consumption, modern water meters integrated with IoT technology can provide utilities and cities with more options.
Since water is the most precious resource for human survival, smart metering is a turnkey solution for resolving water scarcity. The planet's clean water supply must be optimized in order to keep people healthy, while reducing water waste. That's why smart water metering technologies must be embraced.
To learn more about how smart technologies empower enterprises and smart cities, check out our technology guide.