Shanghai, China — (METERING.COM) — September 13, 2006 – Customers of the Shanghai Waterworks Shinan Co. are trialing a new method of reading water meters. They take a picture of the meter and forward it to a cell phone number or e-mail address.

The new system is of particular value in areas where residents are at work all day, and traditional meter readers are unable to gain access to the water meters. The readers now simply calculate the amount of the bill according to the numbers shown on the picture.

The utility says that accurate meter readings have become even more important since the city decided to introduce a new pricing system for water. Three different rates will be charged, depending on annual consumption.