A major smart meter rollout is set to be part of the Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline project following a demonstration of the technology by Southern Downs Regional Council in Stanthorpe.
Around 9,000 meters will be installed throughout Warwick, Allora, Yangan, Killarney, Dalveen, Leyburn, Wallangara and Pratten, which will provide real-time data on water volumes used and pipe flow rates, to help council pinpoint leaks and save water.
The meters and monitoring system will provide data that can identify suburbs, streets or single properties where unusually high water is being used. This will help the council identify where water is being lost and enable actions to be taken to save every drop where possible.
The rollout is part of the Queensland Government’s more than $300 million investment in the Toowoomba to Warwick Pipeline project and water security in the Southern Downs.
The technology also complements the State Government’s $19.34 million Southern Downs Drought Resilience Package, which includes pump upgrades at Leslie Dam, commissioning of groundwater bores around Warwick and Allora, and upgrades to water treatment systems.
These activities assist Council to reduce operating costs for the pipeline and build water supply resilience for the Southern Downs.
Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that the Queensland Government’s $8.5 million investment in smart meter technology highlights its commitment to water security right across the Southern Downs.
“The smart meter technology will help save water and improve future drought resilience. It also ensures that we minimise water lost through leaks,” Mr Butcher said.
“I’m pleased to see more and more councils like the Southern Downs Regional Council committing to water monitoring and water saving technologies.”
Southern Downs Mayor, Vic Pennisi, said, “We have seen how well these meters work in Stanthorpe and we are looking forward to the rollout in Warwick.
“We know how important it is to save every drop. While our dams are currently full, we are one day closer to the next drought so water security is crucial,” Mr Pennisi said.
Southern Downs Councillor, Stephen Tancred, said that the data that gathered will be enormously helpful and take water management to the next level.
“Underground water pipes go largely unnoticed unless one breaks. But smart meters will pick up the small and hidden leaks that occur 24/7 that can potentially recover significant lost treated water that never gets delivered to a property or runs out of a tap,” Mr Tancred said.
“This ‘ghost water’ is what these cutting-edge meters are going to help our water team track down.
“Water has been reticulated to houses since Roman times, but it’s only now we can affordably combine water pipes with satellite technology and get a water saving result. Everyone should be excited!”