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Is smart water metering intelligent?

On Tuesday, Gerardt P Viljoen, managing director, Sensus, presented a  technical workshop at African Utility Week showcasing the best way to ensure smart water metering becomes intelligent.

“We all need to be passionate about water…only 0.08% of the planet’s water is drinkable…,” says Gerardt.

The workshop centred on the necessity for utilities to seek customise, intelligent solutions that reduce non-revenue water.

A few highlights from the session include:

  • South Africa struggles with 41% non-revenue water
  • Utilities can save up to $12.5 billion per year through improving water infrastructure
  • Metering needs to be considered National Critical Infrastructure, as it functions as a vital billing and analysis tool
  • Data driven networks in near real time are the best way to reduce non-revenue water
  • Metering needs to be more than smart, the solution needs to be intelligent, accounting for historical data, contextual data and predictability
  • ‘Intelligence’ can save 90% on network rehabilitation costs due to identification of tiny leaks within a 2 meter radius, as well as being able to predict where leaks may occur in the future
  • Sustainable solutions can only come from partnerships between people and technology. Buy-in from the community is also vital pre-installation to ensure project success

The session concluded with the important topic of affordability. Local municipalities are not always able to secure the finance for intelligent end-to-end solutions.

Gerardt emphasised that once the large catalyst capital investment is made, massive savings will result, ensuring the solution pays for itself.

The session formed part of a workshop track titled; How utilities and municipalities can harness effective solutions to meet with competing demands of service delivery and was chaired by Sicelo Mashwama, SHEQ Manager, Swaziland Water Services Corporation, Swaziland.

Sicelo summed up the workshop by stating that no matter how costly a smart solution is, it will be more costly to ignore the need to protect this natural resource.

African Utility Week

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.