Meeting the increasing demand, replacing ageing infrastructure, improving business performance – no, not the main challenges facing electric utilities, although they are equally applicable, but those also facing water utilities.
So it should come as little surprise that the same solutions are applicable, such as the deployment of smarter meters offering time-based tariffs, and sensing and analytics to reduce losses and improve visibility and cost effectiveness across the network. [See eg Leak Monitoring Offers Potential For Europe’s Water Networks]
In response to numerous requests, Engerati will be expanding its coverage to include the smart water sector, which is rapidly evolving. For example, it is only the latest generation of water meters that are able to record the low flows typical of dripping taps and other leaks on the customer side of the meter – and which may account for between a fifth and a quarter of all leaks.
Just as we are told to break down the silos within utilities to fully realize the benefits of the smart grid, so too must be broken down the divide between electric and water utilities. Both sides have valuable experiences to share pertaining, for example to technology implementation and operation and customer engagement. There are also opportunities in many cases to share infrastructure, of which we are starting to see cases.
So far smart water technology is little deployed outside the United States but we expect this to change rapidly in the years ahead. In some countries in Europe trials are being supported and technology is starting to be piloted. Australia is another country, with particular challenges in water supply. As pressures grow increasingly on water, particularly with growing populations and the impacts of climate change, the distribution of water will become increasingly important to improve, both from a resource and business perspective.
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