Severe droughts and decreased water metering systems currently being experienced in the US will in 2016 drive utilities to seek long-term sustainable solutions for water infrastructure.
This is according to an analysis ‘Badger Meter Discusses Metering Trends for 2016‘ carried out by the global meter vendor.
The analysis points out that flat budgets are limiting US water utilities’ shift to smart metering systems, and predicts the US smart water meter landscape to be shaped by four themes in 2016 – future-proof cellular technology, managed solution model, smart city movement and the rise of big data.
The analysis discusses findings of a study carried out by industry expert Dr Howard Scott predicting an increase in the number of US water utilities upgrading their metering systems to cellular technology-based systems.
According to Mr Scott, the transition to cloud-based systems will be driven by utilities’ efforts to reduce expenses incurred through purchasing, installing and maintaining metering infrastructures every 8.2 years.
The system will allow utilities to integrate new technology with existing resources.
Managed solution model
The analysis predicts that US water utilities’ move towards utilisation of the managed solution model, which includes web-based software services, will drive the growth in smart metering as well.
The adaption of the model will be credited to utilities’ bids to reduce staff requirements related to the infrastructure as the software operations are hosted by the solutions providers.
According to a company statement, “Hosting software and data off-site also leaves critical metering data less susceptible to natural disasters and will allow municipalities more time to focus on their core competency.”
Big meter data and population
To reduce water consumption and non revenues, US water utilities will seek to further maximise the efficiency of their systems to curb leakages, theft and utilise meter data in alerting consumers to take conservative approaches to water consumption, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.
Organisations like the Smart Meters Council are expected to continue to push for the development of smart water networks, smart grids and other developments in the energy sector to help improve the livability, workability and sustainability of the world’s cities.
Badger Meter says the campaigns will aim to meet escalating water demands from the current residents especially in urban areas which the United Nations is expecting to rise due to rural to urban migration.
About 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas today and this number will increase to about 6.3 billion – 66% of the world’s population – by 2050.