Drought resilience and improved long-term water security is one step closer, with the installation of new digital smart water technology beginning to roll-out to Stanthorpe residential and commercial properties in October 2022.

Fitted with radio transmitters, smart water meters will replace the existing mechanical water meters to help reduce water loss from leaks, improve accuracy of water bills, inform better water use decisions and enhance customer service by providing access to real-time water consumption data.

Southern Downs Councillor, Stephen Tancred, said more than 2,700 properties will benefit from the installation during Stage One of the State and Federal Government-funded project.

“Following years of severe drought and water restrictions, our community is very aware of the impacts of dry times and the pressing need to shore up long-term water security,” Councillor Tancred said.

“Council knows future droughts are inevitable and there are currently multiple drought resilient projects underway across the region.

“Installing smart meters is another important initiative in giving residents the tools and means to assist with making sustainable choices about their water use.”

With real-time access to water use data through an on-line customer portal, residents will have greater ability to monitor and change water consumption behaviours.

The new water meters remotely monitor for leaks in the water network and will enable Council’s water team to identify leaks more quickly and minimise water losses within the network.

Water losses can cost significant amounts of money in terms of both the actual water loss and any damage the lost water might cause to pipes, roads and buildings. Readings from individual meters can be used to identify possible water leaks on properties which might otherwise go unnoticed. As such, smart water meters will help residents save money on wasted water and help the community make better use of our region’s scarce water resources.

The smart water meters will automatically report meter readings to Council on an hourly basis, with all data securely stored.

“Technology is becoming part of every aspect of our lives and these smart meters will hopefully be seen as a positive step forward by everyone,” Councillor Tancred said.

“We know up to 20 per cent of water that leaves the treatment plant at Mt Marlay never goes through a water meter and this technology can help our officers track down ghost water to save for a not-so-rainy day.”

The smart water meter project aligns with Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2021-2031 in the priority area of valuing water.

This project is jointly funded by the State and Federal Government via the Local Economy Recovery funding program and co-contribution from Council.

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