The mission of this group is to bring together utility professionals in the power industry who are in the thick of the digital utility transformation. 

Post

How Tech Can Improve Water Conservation

Todd Carney's picture
Writer Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
  • 67 items added with 13,024 views
  • Aug 10, 2022
  • 283 views

As the sees increased changes in the weather, America’s resources are getting pushed to the brink. As a result, it is more important than ever to be as efficient with resources as possible. Fortunately with ground breaking technology, America is in a better position to maximize its efficiency in energy use. This piece goes through recent technological developments that are improving the function of water utilities.

Oracle

Oracle has established itself as a technological giant in general. So now Oracle is using its capabilities to help states improve their functionality in water usage. Oracle helps over 200 utilities serve over 100 million households through their services.

In South Carolina, Oracle helped a state water utility company, Santee Cooper, serve over 200,000 customers through smart meters. These meters record data from the users and help control the flow of water so that the companies do not waste water, and that they can get the water to different users as quickly as possible.

In Grant County in Washington, a rural desert area, Oracle partnered with the county’s public utility district in order to create a new customer service database. This ensured that the company could respond efficiently to complaints and needs, and also utilize the feedback that they received to establish best practices. This is essential for a community like Grant County because one of their main industries is agriculture, so any delay could prove costly.

Finally, in the city of Carmel, Indiana, Oracle helped Caramel Utilities streamline their billing system to make it easier for people to pay their bills. This largely serves to make life easier on the customers’ end, but this extra investment in customer service up front will save Caramel Utilities time and money down the line because they will not be so bogged down in answering customer issues. This should result in better utilization of water.

Water Restrictions

Texas is one of a few states that particularly has to deal with the hardships of droughts. To try to lessen the problems caused by droughts, Texas has established restrictions in terms of the water usage allowed. Unfortunately for Texas, many people violate the water usage rules. To combat these issues, Fort Worth, Texas, has used smart meters to keep track of people who go over allowances on water usage.

These new meters help Fort Worth’s government and its customers. The smart meters provide real time updates in terms of water usage, so this allows for companies to quickly keep track of people who violate the water rules. It also lets customers track themselves to ensure that they do not accidentally go over the allotments.

Some have rejected this program because they feel that they are getting hit with fines for small mistakes. One customer complained that they simply put their sprinklers on for 10 minutes, and they received a threat for a $2,000 fine. However, whether this fine is legitimate or not, it exists with or without the smart meters, so if people want to  avoid them, then they should want to receive the information about possibly getting hit with a fine, so they can cease their behavior.

Smart Meter Growth

With the improvements promised by smart meters, it seems America needs more of them. Fortunately projections show that smart meters will continue to increase. A report found that the market for “Smart Water Meters” was $5,882,600,000 and that the value would increase to $12,690,000,000 by 2028, this would be an extremely rapid growth in just six years. This growth is not just limited to America, globally more countries are employing smart meters, so this could help countries that need to conserve water even more than the US.

Looking further at the US specifically. The report found that North America will increase its number of smart water meters from 34 million to over 69 million in 2027. The rate will increase by 12.6 percent each year.

Technology is a double edged sword. As the world has used technology more, people have become more wasteful, but technology allows people to make all sorts of advancements. This includes energy usage. While there are many technological improvements that assist in energy, including with water, smart meters have proven particularly useful. Communities throughout the US should focus on utilizing them more.

Todd Carney's picture
Thank Todd for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member
Discussions
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »