California deploys groundwater data collection project

California groundwater data collection
Semtech, Mueller Systems and Senet aim to develop a turnkey groundwater data collection system to help water utilities met regulatory requirements

In US smart meter news, a Southern California groundwater management agency has contracted semiconductor company Semtech to create a platform for data collection.

The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency has approved plans for a smart meters platform for groundwater data collection at the Fox Canyon aquifer in Ventura County, which supplies water to much of the local area.

Semtech is working with two US partners – AMI company Mueller Systems and Internet of Things specialist Senet.

The trio will deliver a low-power, wide-area network to wirelessly track groundwater pumping data from the aquifer in a bid to streamline the existing data collection process and provide a more cost-efficient model for the county.

Mueller Systems’ smart meters will track groundwater pumping data and connect to the LoRa network, deployed by Senet, to automatically deliver data to local regulators.

The new smart metering system should significantly reduce costs associated with the county’s data collection process, which currently relies on groundwater users to report the data themselves.

Sensors will attach to the existing meters and automatically report data to regulators through the LoRa network.

Groundwater data collection

The news comes as the state of California has passed laws requiring sustainable groundwater management in response to a fourth year of drought.

The automated groundwater data collection process allows regulators to receive real-time usage information, enabling quicker response time to excess groundwater users and a sustainable method of tracking.

By incorporating the sensors into existing meters, the team also eliminates the need for individual smart meter installation, creating an attractive system for government agencies.

Turnkey water management solution

Another aim of the trial is for the three partners to develop a turnkey solution that can be rolled out to other water management bodies in California and the US.

Hassan Ali, vice president and general manager of Mueller Systems, said: “By standardising long-range networks, multiple technology providers can unite complementary applications in one network.

“By combining Mueller Systems’ smart meters with Semtech’s semiconductors and Senet’s network, we hope to create a scalable IoT solution to water conservation.”

Semtech, Mueller Systems and Senet are all members of the LoRa Alliance, a collaborative group of Internet of Things industry influencers that aim to standardise low-power, wide-area networks globally.

The LoRa-based wide-area network will be fully implemented for testing by October 2015, the companies said in a statement.