The US city of Abilene in Texas has plans underway to replace existing analogue water meters with more advanced models.Rodney Taylor, director of Water Utilities in the city of Abilene, said: "Customers are very limited on the amount of information they have before them, as far as their consumption patterns and their usage [are concerned].”
If the proposal to install smart water meters is approved by the Abilene city council, residents will be better equipped to reduce water consumption through the provision of real-time usage data. Consumers will have the ability to track their water usage on an hourly basis.
Furthermore, the project is expected to help Abilene’s water department to optimise its revenue collection with improved accuracy in water billing and quick identification of meter tampering and water leaks.
The smart water meters project is expected to cost the utility department $10 million to $15 million over a period of two years. [Massachusetts town approves smart meter budget].
Georgia smart meters
Meanwhile, Gwinnett county in Georgia announced that it will implement a project to test the benefits of smart water meters under the Global Cities Team Challenge programme.
Under the smart water meters project, the county’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) will partner with telecommunications firms AT&T and QualComm, and engineering company CH2M to improve management of its water resources using digital technologies.
The four parties will integrate wireless technologies with smart water meters developed by various manufacturers toward reducing non-revenue water through quick identification of water leaks.
AT&T will supply its wireless communications technology, QualComm will provide chipsets for the smart water meters whilst CH2M will be responsible for management of the project.
In a press statement, officials from Gwinnett county, said: “The pilot project will allow DWR to evaluate how this technology can be employed to not only provide enhanced service to customers but also allow DWR to continue being a good steward of the environment and plan for the future.”