The installed base of advanced and smart water meters will reach more than 153 million worldwide by 2022, says a new research from Navigant Research.
Smart meters are a key component of smart water networks, but other monitoring and control technologies are becoming increasingly important, as well, for leak detection, pressure management, and water quality monitoring.
Traditionally a conservative business, the water utility industry is being forced into change by growing demand, aging infrastructure, and tougher environmental targets, the report said. The smart water networks promise to help reduce non-revenue water losses, increase reliability, and improve operational efficiency.
While water is becoming a focal point of many cities’ sustainability agendas, capital constraints present a major barrier to the modernization of existing water systems, according to the report.
Replacing aging water infrastructure in established cities is expensive and disruptive, and building new reservoirs is even more challenging. Smart meters present a relatively low-cost opportunity to improve the performance and the economics of the overall water system.
“Providing an integrated view of all the elements of the water network, smart water networks will enable better management of water and energy resources while improving customer service,” says Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. “Yet, this transformation will take time, spanning decades rather than just a few years.”