Flow meter manufacturer Badger Meter has teamed with Aeris, a machine to machine operator, to supply cellular connectivity for a water meter rollout in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Badger Meter will use Aeris technology to connect 34,000 smart water meters in the Santa Fe Public Utilities Commission (PUC) service area.
The manufacturer will rollout the BEACON AMA managed solution as part of a 10-year contract.
The managed solution will allow the Sante Fe PUC to read meters remotely and detect leaks within the water system.
To encourage customer engagement with reducing water consumption and home leak detection, Badger will supply its EyeOnWater, a consumer portal and smartphone and tablet app giving end-users the opportunity to see how their water is being used.
Badger will use Aeris' M2M network called AerCore and AerPort connectivity platform as the means to communicate between meter and utility, said John Fillinger, director of marketing at Badger Meter.
Mr Fillinger said: “Aeris exceeded our stringent requirements to ensure our customers have a reliable, scalable connection to our meters deployed in the field.”
Need for smart water metering
The deal news follows the release of a survey, 2014 US Water Industry Outlook, completed by both private and public companies.
Respondents said the top three problems for the US water industry is ageing infrastructure, ageing and poor availability of managerial and plant workers and the need for a simplified rate approval process.
The study conducted by market research company WeiserMazars LLP found that the value of smart water metering and automated meter reading in addressing ageing infrastructure and an ageing, shrinking workforce has become "increasingly clear".
Robert Wilson, partner, at WeiserMazars, said: "Smart water metering technologies provide operators with the ability to identify and target both main and customer water leaks.
"The implementation of smart water metering and AMR technologies can help address two of the key challenges facing the water industry today.
"Simultaneously, the development of creative business solutions allowing more water utilities to take advantage of these technologies will bring improvements that will drive sustainability of our water infrastructure well into the future."
However, Mr Wilson warms that advanced water metering will face challenges.
Wilson said: "While industry and regulatory groups are pushing for the installation of advanced metering nationwide, it will not be easy to get these technologies in place without concerted effort because of the fragmentation of the water industry.
"If the industry is to effectively address its challenges, it must begin implementing smart water metering and AMR as soon as possible."