An online survey and in-depth interviews conducted with urban water businesses in Australia and New Zealand by Smart Water Research Centre has shown 80 per cent of respondents are actively pursuing smart metering or intelligent water networks.
Momentum for these projects continues to grow in the region as businesses pursue pilot and operational projects.
“It is clear that urban water businesses are recognising the role digital water metering technology can play in efficiency, demand management, and customer service,” said Adam Lovell, Executive Director of Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA).
“In line with the vision set by our members – ‘customer driven, enriching life’ – it is also important that the end user – the customer – understands the benefit of the technology,” said Mr Lovell.
The research shows that many utilities are now seeing how digital metering and use of near real-time data can benefit customer service.
The survey, conducted by the Smart Water Research Centre on behalf of WSAA, provides a deeper understanding of the state of smart metering and intelligent water networks in Australian and New Zealand urban water utilities. Building on the baseline data gathered in 2013, this study looked at gauging the penetration of smart metering and intelligent water network projects to identify challenges and emerging trends.
The survey found that in the last 12 months there has been a doubling in the number of utilities that are pursuing intelligent water networks. Extending asset life and deferring investment were the key business case drivers identified by survey respondents.
Challenges still exist, especially for smaller water utilities, in transferring the recognition of the new technology into solid businesses cases.
WSAA will continue to work with the urban water industry in understanding the challenges for the implementation of intelligent water networks and smart metering.
The full report can be read online.