70% of the World’s land is covered with water still some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. However, with the increasing population, water use has been growing globally at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered, especially in arid regions. Water scarcity will be exacerbated as rapidly growing urban areas place heavy pressure on neighboring water resources. Climate change and bio-energy demands are also expected to amplify the already complex relationship between world development and water demand.
But, when the world started talking about cities that are “Smart” and provide affluent life to thier citizens, clean drinking water was one of them as the most important pieces of critical infrastructure. Cities started to think about this critical need and coined the term smart water pointing to water and wastewater infrastructure. Smart Water management ensures that this precious resource is managed effectively and is designed in a way that gathers meaningful and actionable data about the flow, pressure and distribution of a city’s water.
Smart Water Meter
Smart water meter, apart from advanced sensors, software analytics and services is one of the critical requirement in smart water management. Smart Water meters are Internet of Things (IoT) enabled that helps water consumers to track their exact water usage by following a pay-as-you-use system. Smart Water meter creates a two-way communication channel between user and provider to share information with each other that empower both parties to take useful and practical actions.
IoT enabled water meters helps to reduce water losses in the entire water distribution network and allow utilities to track and manage the demand for water. This demand management helps utilities to make the best use of existing water supplies. Subsequently, utilities can forecast the time when their water resources will run out and accordingly make plans for the future. This further empowers the conversation of water resources and help provide everyone with sufficient potable water.
Cities now have started using smart water meters that are equipped with advanced solutions to track water usage of individual houses and avoid wastage. Like for example, Singapore recently started creating a network of smart water meters. The main purpose of using these IoT driven devices is for the city to record water consumption data. Singapore’s PUB also wants to use this network to establish an engagement strategy by incentivizing customers to save water. This is all a part of the PUB’s plan to evoke consumers and motivate them to conserve water and reduce tariffs.
Benefits of Smart Water meter
Smart water meter helps to conserve water, saves energy and chemical costs, allows suppliers to charge for water based on use, and is the fairest way to allocate the costs of water supply to users. To utility providers, it helps in identifying leaks, save and reduce energy, help in forecasting and planning water demand from citizens and monitor performance indicators. To citizens, Smart water helps to manage water bills, monitor consumption, rationing of water-based on consumption thresholds and water-based on time of day.
IoT enabled smart water meter also helps in testing the quality of water. ensuring that there are no pollutants present in water. These sensors can identify conductivity, pH level, salinity, TDS, and temperature. They have proximity sensors, and one small change in any of these levels will be detected, and the sensors will intimate officials immediately. The smart water meters will ensure that every house gets quality water.
These meters also help to that helps to reduce water waste. IoT water meters also helps in identifying any damage in water pipes. Here, sensors detect the problem, and then with the help of a remote operation feature, the water board can stop the flow immediately to reduce the wastage.
The usage of water in every household and industry varies depending on the seasons. People usually consume more water in summers and less in winters, yet they are charged with a similar amount of money irrespective of the season. In such a scenario, these smart water meters helps in setting up the price as per use. It detects the households that are using more water and the ones that are using less and set the price accordingly.