To date, water meters have been used as accumulation meters, pulse meters or interval meters. More and more utilities are integrating advanced ICT solutions into their operations. Smart water metering is helping to identify and reduce leakages and non-revenue water. Smart meters are one step closer to bring realtime monitoring of water use, with the added benefit of letting the users know where they use the water most in a dwelling, for example, shower or bath.
About SmartWater Meter
Smart water metering for the water industry will extend beyond the capability of ‘Automated Meter Reading’ (AMR). Smart water metering is expected to, as a minimum, establish more granular (within a day) water usage data, two-way communications between the water utility and the water meter, and potentially include communications to the customer (denoted ‘Smart Water Metering’).
With respect to a customer’s household, smart water metering could enable:
- Recording of water consumption within a day;
- Remote meter reading on a scheduled and on-demand basis;
- Event handling – errors, fraud, leak, backflow
- Commands – disconnect/reconnect, messages, pricing
- Notification of abnormal usage to the customer and/or the water utility;
- Control of water consumption devices within a customer’s premise;
- Derived functionality – billing, consumption patterns, distribution network developments, customer propositions, pricing, demand side management.
- Messaging to the customer; and
- Customised targeting of segments
Smart meters have many benefits for customers and water agencies. For customers, the systems allow them to make informed conservation decisions. The meters allow agencies to reduce labour costs, improve enforcement efforts and enable leak detection.
Potential smart water metering enabled changes to water billing:
- Innovative retail tariffs for the sale of water;
- More frequent billing;
- More accurate billing; and
- Advantages to customers of meter readers not having to come on to their property to read meters.