Mississippi utility prepares for smart water meter rollout

In the US state of Mississippi, Tupelo Water and Light plans to install smart water meter infrastructure to improve the operations of its water division.

According to the Daily Journal, Tupelo Water and Light presented the city council with its plan to install an smart water meter infrastructure, aimed at helping the utility improve billing accuracy.

Johnny Timmons, director of Tupelo Water and Light Company, said: “We’re ready to move in that direction.”

Timmons said the utility has completed the drafting of a roadmap which it will guide the deployment of the new infrastructure.

The project is expected to cost between $7.87 million and $10.5 million and help the utility to create new revenue streams, with a forecasted revenue projection of $17.2 million over a period of 20 years.
The water meters are also aimed reducing costs associated with manual meter readings.

Smart water meter tech to hold “lion share” of US municipal water investment

In related news, independent insight and advisory firm Bluefield Research forecasts the municipal water sector in the US to spend over $20 billion in software, data, and analytics solutions over the next decade.

Bluefield Research states that more than 40 companies are positioning to deploy state-of-the-art solutions to enable more advanced levels of system intelligence, real-time network visibility, energy efficiency and customer management.Driving factors pushing up adoption of these technologies include state legislation for water loss, aging infrastructure, and pressure on utilities to be more efficient.

The firm identified advanced water meters to have the “lion’s share” of forecasted expenditures at 82% from 2017 through 2026.

Furthermore, over $2.7bn will be directed towards asset condition assessment and pipeline monitoring through 2026. Operating expenditures on leakage management will total $1 billion through the forecast period.

“Historically, utilities have been hobbled by their inability to generate actionable insights from disparate network and water usage data, but this is changing with more advanced data management and cloud-based solutions,” says Will Maize, a senior analyst at Bluefield Research.

“The market is already beginning to take on a different shape. We are seeing larger, diversified companies enter the fray, utilities reshaping their mindset, and Silicon Valley-types applying data expertise. This combination has huge potential to change the way the US water industry works,” he added.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.