Smart water meters: US cities curb non-technical losses

This week, the US city of Mountain View has announced that it has received a grant to implement a smart water meter pilot this year.

According to a local publication, the city will utilize the US$50,000 grant part of Santa Clara County’s 2012 Measure B parcel tax meant to fund improvements to the local water system. The grant will also be used to test out a new metering solution which will allow consumers to instantly check their water usage.

Jerry de la Piedra, the water district’s long-term planning and conservation manager said: “The improved system should allow ratepayers and city officials to access water usage from an external website.”

Under the project the city will contribute US$125,000 in addition to the Measure B grant for installation of a new smart water solution including 900 smart water meters on the existing PG&E network comprising of residential and businesses metering points throughout the city, reported Mountain View Voice.

Piedra said the smart water metering solution willbeneficial for identifying leaks rather than waiting a month or two months to find that out.”

The conservation manager reiterated:  “Our idea is to take these results and see if we can put together a countywide plan.”

Smart water meters in the US

Meanwhile, Naperville- a suburb in Chicago has this week also announced will begin replacing its 43,000 analog water meters with smart water meters next month.

According to Chicago Tribune, the city aims to install 4,000 smart water meters every year.

Jim Holzapfel, Naperville’s director of water and waste water utilities said; “It’s believed two-thirds of the system’s annual water leakage — a loss of about 4.5 percent of the city’s water supply — can be blamed on inaccurate readings from older meters.”

Holzapfel  added : ”By updating the water meters, it gives a better idea of what leaks are actually in the system.

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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.