The global installed base of smart water meters will hit between 120 million and 130 million by 2018, according to new research by UK company Statplan Energy.

The company, which specialises in intelligence for the energy and utility industries, estimates that smart meters will hold a larger share of the total water meter market - estimated at just over US$3 billion by 2018 - from 13 per cent in 2014 to 18 per cent in 2018.

Euan Blauvelt, director at Statplan, said: “The smart meter ‘revolution’ is slower to develop than many expected but we support the increasing view from market participants that there is now sufficient traction at a global level to build business activities around the trend.”

Mr Blauvelt highlights that as issues of water scarcity and continuity of supply become more acute, there is growing opportunity for smart solutions at all levels of the water distribution system to improve water conservation.

Residential smart metering, however, makes a small contribution to water efficiency, he said.

“If the same level of knowledge and control could be applied to the agricultural sector, what a difference that would make.

“A saving of 20 per cent due to more advanced metering in the consumption of irrigation water, using a small number of large bulk and transfer irrigation water meters, would save 14 per cent of total consumption of water, compared with an overall saving of 4 per cent if a large number of residential water meters achieved a 20 per cent saving in that sector.”

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