Smart water networks can save utilities up to $12.5 billion a year worldwide


Peter Mainz, CEO
and President,
London, England — (METERING.COM) — December 7, 2012 – Smart water networks could save utilities across the globe up to $12.5 billion a year according to a new study commissioned by Sensus.

This would result from improved leakage and pressure management, strategic prioritization and allocation of capital expenditures, streamlined network operations and maintenance, and streamlined water quality monitoring, with dramatic savings stimulated when driven by the real time data that a smart water network provides.

The findings, published in Water 20/20: Bringing Smart Water Networks Into Focus, were based on input from more than 180 utilities worldwide.

According to the report one-third of utilities around the globe report a loss of more than 40 percent of clean water due to leaks.Reducing leaks by 5 percent, coupled with up to a10 percent reduction in pipe bursts, can save utilities up to $4.6 billion annually. The use of different types of smart sensors to gather data and apply advanced analytics, such as pattern detection, could provide real time information on the location of a leak in the network.

Employing dynamic asset management tools can result in a 15 percent savings on capital expenditures by strategically directing investment. Such tools could save up to$5.2 billion annually. To close the gap between the capital spending required and the amount of financing available, utilities need access to information to better understand the evolving status of their network assets, including pipes.

By implementing smarter technology that provides the critical data on networks, via remote operations, utilities could save up to $2.1 billion annually, or up to 20percent savings in labor and vehicle efficiency and productivity. A smart water network solution can help streamline network operations and maintenance by automating tasks associated with routine maintenance and operation of the water distribution system.

Smart water networks can also save up to $600 million annually, or 70percent of quality monitoring costs, and far more in avoided catastrophe. A smart water network solution for water quality monitoring would enable utilities to automatically sample and test for water quality and intervene quickly to mitigate potential issues.

“Water utilities are under pressure from growing demand, aging water systems and increasing energy prices,” said Peter Mainz, CEO and president of Sensus. “Smart water networks can ease that pressure and save utilities worldwide billions of dollars each year. These savings mean more than 5 percent of utilities’ budgets could be reinvested to improve water networks and help address the global water scarcity crisis.”

Within the next decade, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population, or 4.6 billion people, are likely to experience water stressed conditions that occur when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use.

Now is the time to act, the report concludes. All its findings on smart water networks point to a massive opportunity for utilities and could truly revolutionize water distribution networks around the world – many of which have remained largely static and untouched for decades. The world can adopt smart water networks if we focus on partnering the right technologies with the right stakeholders.