The Internet of Things (IoT) technology has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years. The technology is literally everywhere. From smart home to blockchain, IoT finds its use in every aspect of the today’s fast-moving world of technology.
WaterOn in India
In the city of Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India, IoT is enabling residents to keep track of their water usage. SmarterHomes, a startup by Bengaluru residents Kasturi Rangan and Vikek Shukla, has created a smart meter service called WaterOn. With WaterOn, residents can now keep a tab on their hourly usage and reduce water wastage. Furthermore, the system also helps them manage leaks remotely. One more benefit of the system is that it beats the standard practice of charging a fixed flat rate as a water bill, regardless of usage.
WaterOn uses IoT to communicate between various smart meters installed at each water inlets in every apartment. Connected and powered by special-purpose cables, WaterOn is capable of storing water consumption data of up to 45 days.
SmarterHomes currently offers two models of WaterOn: One with remote leak plugging capability and the other without. The first one also comes with the feature of completely shutting the water supply when no one’s at home. Both the models can alert of water consumption on an hourly basis and can also store water usage data. The device comes with an accompanying smartphone app to monitor the data.
Aeneesh Rose Apartments on Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, was the first complex to install WaterOn, back in 2016. As of now, more than 3500 individual apartment owners use WaterOn smart meters.
In this growing world of technological minds, WaterOn is another example of a responsible innovation. A research by SmarterHomes found out that communities that have implemented individual metering have reduced their overall water consumption by 35%. Besides, they also save energy costs as lesser water than before is pumped to overhead distribution tanks. Less consumption also means less wastewater resulting in multi-pronged savings. Furthermore in cities like Bengaluru, looming under the threat of a water crisis, more and more peoples should turn on to this IoT gadget and lend a helping hand towards saving water.
NB-IoT Enabled Smart Meters in Australia
Besides that, NB-IoT enabled smart water meters are now a reality for utilities, following Telstra’s announcement of its narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network going live across all major cities in Australia.
Telstra is Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network so with their NB-IoT Network now switched on, WaterGroup can deploy their state of the art ultrasonic, intelligent water meters to provide remote online meter readings. This will save millions of dollars in manual water meter reading costs. More importantly, though, it will save many millions of liters of precious drinking water by identifying leakage as and when it happens.
Furthermore, it is possible to deploy smart water meters hassle-free into residential dwellings, apartments and difficult-to-access basements, due to the deep long-range network coverage of NB-IoT. It will provide utilities for the first time ever, with a cost-effective way to truly understand in near real-time where the water is going, and where it is lost in their water distribution network.
With growing populations, utilities are obligated to anticipate rising demands. Sydney and Melbourne, home to 40 percent of all Australians, are expected to accommodate another three million residents each by the mid-2050s. The new NB-IoT enabled ultrasonic, intelligent water meters are expected to collectively save Australian water users 160 million liters of water a year, enough to supply a city of 900,000 residents with water.
Further Potential for Water Management Innovation
Smart Water Management solutions that leverage the IoT can monitor this resource as it is produced, stored, transported, and used. Sensors in water pipes can find leaks quickly to minimize water loss, identify blockages before they become major problems, and provide real-time data for predictive allocation, floodwater control, or water collection. There is further potential for innovation: wastewater sensors that detect levels of bacteria and viruses can help prevent epidemics.