Smart water meter seeks to solve Australia's water challenges
Water-saving company WaterGroup has partnered with global metering manufacturer HZ Metering to distribute a new smart water meter in the Australian market.
The Network-ready Ultrasonic smart water meter (NUmeter) is said to be the first commercially available ultrasonic smart water meter to have an IoT-type network communications module like NB-IoT, Sigfox or LoRaWAN fully integrated into it. According to WaterGroup Managing Director Guenter Hauber-Davidson, this will help tackle two of the major challenges facing Australian utilities.
“First of all, each year, utilities deliver about two billion cubic metres of potable water every year — but about 10–12% of this water is lost each year,” Hauber-Davidson said. “This loss of water equates to over $400 million in water production costs every year. This loss can be minimised if a utility has a smart network and a smart water metering system.
“With the NUmeter we can provide utilities that operate networks with a cost-effective way to truly understand, in near real time, where the water is going — and where it is lost — in their water distribution networks.
“There is a potential here to collectively save Australian water users more than 160 million litres of water a year, enough to supply a city of 900,000 residents with water.”
Hauber-Davidson said the second major challenge facing utilities is the major population growth predicted for Australia’s largest cities. A recent report by Infrastructure Australia shows that between 2016 and 2046, the population increase in our three largest cities will be as follows:
- Sydney from 5 million to 7.4 million
- Melbourne from 4.6 million to 7.3 million
- Brisbane from 2.4 million to 4 million
This growth in population will drive growth in water consumption, which in turn will mean that smarter management of water will become a must for major cities.
“We are seeing water and wastewater utilities across the globe implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, including smart water technology and smart water meters, as part of their strategy to meet the population growth challenges of the future and to become smart cities,” said Jianguo Dong, general manager of HZ Metering (also known as Tangshan Huizhong Instrumentation Co.).
“If Australia is to meet population growth, they need to make sure they do the same thing. This can only be achieved if owners/operators of water utilities have access to real-time information — via smart technology, smart networks and smart meters — that will help their decision-making around planning of and investment in water infrastructure to meet future demand.”
Hauber-Davidson said WaterGroup delivered water savings of almost 300 million litres to its clients during 2016–17, showing what can be achieved by leveraging the IoT, innovation and sustainable solutions such as smart water meters.
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