Smart Water Metering.. Just Smart.
- Saving Water and Money
There are many factors now that make us rethink how we manage our water utilities. We have to adopt more sustainable approaches to water management. Water as a resource is becoming less readily available and certainly more expensive. Utilising water efficiently and sustainably, has the added benefit of saving many residential and commercial properties money. Saving water saves money. Smart metering systems have enormous potential to revolutionise current utility practices.
- How Does Smart Metering Help?
Until now, smart metering has been focused on reducing manual readings, increase data collection on things such as time of use, leakage and end use measurement, things such as washing cycles, shower time and toilet flushes. In the coming years, we are deploying more of our trial studies into citywide implementation. Implementation of smart water metering on this scale is going to have major impact on the collective information available on water usage, from pipe networks right to individual appliances and uses. When collated and used in an intuitive way, this information is a powerful asset towards better water planning and engineering.
- 'A Little About Advanced Metering'
The term ‘smart’ metering is too often associated with any part of the metering technology that is different from conventional metering. This ambiguity covers a whole area of different metering practices in both the energy and water sectors. As an example, the AMR systems (automated meter reading) is often sold as a ‘smart metering system’ but they simply offer a better way for customers to collect water use data.
Essentially, a smart metering system at the very least should enable reading of water flow and other optional data (water quality, pressure etc) from a remote location. Collected in time increments (like hourly), include user friendly data registries of the collected data that is designed to help the customer make better decisions on their water usage. It is not meant to drown the customer in a pile of data that they have to work they way through.
Put simply, a smart metering system should, at a minimum, enable remote reading of water flow (consumption) and other optional data (e.g. water quality, pressure, etc.) at a resolution which improves current operational and customer decision making (e.g. collected in litre increments at least hourly), include accessible and user-friendly data registries of collected data, and autonomously produce readily accessible and useful reports for a range of purposes.
This latter development is really where smart metering is heading. Its providing that extra cloud or edge based software system that give immense usefulness to the data collected for the customer. Not just offering the advanced ‘smart metering hardware’. Smart metering is really about metering systems that have the additional capability of data mining helping water professionals and private users understand their water usage with information that is relevant to them.
- What Makes a Meter Smart?
The benefits of smart metering is undisputed. It is definitely a blooming industry. The products are available, but the benefits have yet to be fulfilled, as there is still a lack of focus on the crucial data analysis functionality needed to redesign a new approach to the way the water sector goes about doing its business.