Northeast Group forecasts water utilities in the US to invest $8.3 billion in smart infrastructure over the next decade.In a press statement, the research firm says the investments in smart infrastructure aim to help US water utilities to optimise their operations through modernisation of water infrastructure.

The increase in investments will be driven by efforts to reduce non-revenue water and increase revenue collection through accuracy in water billing, improvements in the management of water infrastructure and quick identification of leaks.

According to Northeast Group, the water infrastructure in the US is aging and the majority of utilities are manually operating water distribution networks and billing customers.

Factors such as inadequate capital to fund utility projects and suspicion over new technologies hinder the adoption of smart infrastructure technologies in the US water sector.

However, a survey conducted by NorthEast Group indicates that water companies in the US are increasingly adopting smart water infrastructure with sensors and two-way communications.

The survey comprises interviews with 340 water utilities across the country’s 50 states.

More than 80% of survey participants say they have invested or are planning to invest in smart water infrastructure to improve their operational efficiencies.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, commented: "Our survey results show that water infrastructure in the US is modernising, but utilities still have not taken full advantage of the technology they have available to them to improve operations and maximise efficiency.

"Smart metering and other sensors with two-way communications can help a sector in great need of modernisation. These investments will grow, especially as cities look to integrate water infrastructure with broader smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives."

Utility smart infrastructure adoption

Meanwhile, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) has selected Nokia for the provision of an advanced communications network.

PCWA provides water and electricity services to some 200,000 consumers in Northern Carolina.

In a press statement, PCWA said it will replace its existing communications infrastructure and software with Nokia’s Internet-based open standard IoT network.

The utility is deploying the network to improve management of its power generation, water treatment and distribution infrastructure. PCWA will use the network to monitor the operations of its five hydroelectric power plants generating one million megawatt hours per annum. Read more...

 

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