IoT-Based Digital Water Metering – Utilities Journey towards Smart and Sustainable Future

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Sujan Bose's picture
Practice Head, Wipro Technologies Transmission & Distribution Business

Sujan Bose is the Practice Head - For Wipro Technologies Generation, Transmission & Distribution Business practice. Sujan has twenty (20+) years of experience in the Grid Modernization, Smart...

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  • Sep 27, 2022

This item is part of the Enhancing the Digital Utility - September 2022 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more


South East Water is a metropolitan water utility that delivers water, sewerage and recycled water services to more than 1.8 million people in southeast Melbourne. Each year the utility provides 142 billion liters of drinking water and collects and treats more than 136 billion liters of wastewater. From its water recycling plants, they produce around 2.8 billion liters of recycled water used for residences, businesses, agriculture and open spaces.

As part of its digital journey, South East Water wanted to build a digital information platform utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT), Operational Data Store (ODS) and leverage advanced analytics capabilities to transform its current business processes. 

South East Water’s digital information platform journey started with digital meters. With 41,000 digital meters already installed across its network, the removal of legacy analog meters continues, reducing cost-to-serve by adopting IoT and analytics to build a low-cost and highly scalable digital metering solution. In addition, South East Water is a proven industry leader in innovative digital meter data gathering technologies. Its award-winning research and development team has developed, manufactured and tested several at-scale digital products that make sense of the information produced by digital meters. Marketed across Africa, the Middle East and India (ANZ) region by its subsidiary Iota, this solution provides South East Water with a commercialized, separate, non-regulated revenue source.


For this project, South East Water selected Microsoft Azure as its strategic cloud service partner. Microsoft endorsed Wipro, a service partner in the ANZ region, for this digital transition. Wipro’s solution included accelerators across different domain and technology areas to future-proof the architecture and a pilot for fit-to-purpose systems to operationalize digital water metering.

“Wipro researched customer and market demands, analyzed expectations from water utility CIOs, compared competitor solutions and conducted segment analysis for positioning”

 The team deployed the following capabilities in 24 months:

A digital Information platform that operationalized digital water metering and connected 41,000+ digital meters (June 2022) using the NBIoT platform.

Meter integration via using LWM2M protocol, integrating three different Telco IoT platforms 1) Telstra, 2) Vodafone and 3) Optus.

The data platform supports the ever-growing cloud data storage requirements and a robust analytics model; Smart dashboards for situational awareness; and advanced analytics, including operational analysis on leakage prediction, bill shock prediction and consumption pattern analysis.

The flexible rules engine manages a variety of data processing requirements.

An enterprise IT-OT integration including data from Maximo EAM, Salesforce, the legacy billing system, and the Hexagon GIS system using Dell Boomi-based ESB and PEGA-based BPM solutions.

Business Impact          

For South East Water, the solution is prolonging asset life, minimizing emergency maintenance costs and reducing after-hours charges as issues are tackled proactively rather than reactively. The benefits for South East Water customers have been impactful. The customer experience for those with a digital meter has been positive. The utility can now provide customers with near real-time notifications about a potential leak, and they can access granular consumption data through their mySouthEastWater online portal.

“So far, the new digital meter technology has helped customers find over 4,000 leaks they did not know they had, reducing water wastage. Leak alerts have saved over $1.2 million on customer bills and a volume of 280ML water”

The solution, built in a templated approach, allows platform users to lift and shift the platform from one region to another. It also complies with the following: 1) GDPR, 2) IoT Cyber Security, 3) IoT Data Governance, and 4) Interoperability with multiple telcos and field devices, making it a robust industry solution for digital water metering.

Wipro is a trusted partner to 75+ utilities globally. To learn how we can help turn your bold ideas into groundbreaking business solutions for a tomorrow built on technology, check out 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 28, 2022

A digital Information platform that operationalized digital water metering and connected 41,000+ digital meters (June 2022) using the NBIoT platform.

Meter integration via using LWM2M protocol, integrating three different Telco IoT platforms 1) Telstra, 2) Vodafone and 3) Optus.

This seems like a massive scale of undertaking. What unique challenges does that volume of meters (and thus data) bring compared with smaller chunks of projects? 

Sujan Bose's picture
Sujan Bose on Oct 21, 2022

Hi Matt, following were the unique challenges we faced:

1) Management of device alarms - with IoT volume of devices, monitoring and management of alarms becomes a significant effort intensive task for the business users. For effective alarm management, we have setup alarm clustering and escalation logic. Alarm clustering is for grouping the alarms which gets generated due to a single cause such as area/regional communication tower failure making devices going offline in large numbers etc. Alarm escalation logic is for escalating the severity (requiring immediate attention) of alarm which are persistent for longer time or frequently appearing with shorter periodicity.

2) Dynamic Parsing - working with multiple meter manufacturer and telco service providers, it was prudent that we need to deal with multiple different payload structures and changes in the structure happening throughout the meter lifecycle. Dynamic Parsing logic had helped us dealing with this issue which was developed comprehensively to parse across meters/telco service providers with canonical data structure in line with LWM2M protocol.

3) Device Lifecycle Management - One of the key challenges was to manually perform the device lifecycle management activities such as onboarding, move-in/out, decommissioning on the platform for the huge volume of meters. We have built auto orchestration of these activities by integrating with enterprise systems such as Asset Register, CIS, Billing etc. and building end-to-end BPM capabilities thereby eliminating any need for manual activities involved in this process.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 21, 2022

Thanks for the follow up and insights. Really interesting times ahead. 

Sujan Bose's picture
Thank Sujan for the Post!
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