Smart metering can help water utilities reduce carbon footprint

Smart metering, leakage monitoring and detection systems should be used by water utilities to ensure greater sustainability in energy consumption, according to a new report published by research company Frost & Sullivan.

The report, entitled “Carbon Footprint Reduction Opportunities in Networks and Treatment Plants of European Water Utilities” emphasizes the significance of smart metering to reducing carbon emissions.

Frost & Sullivan analysts note that since consumers are responsible for 89 percent of emissions, water savings at the customer’s end is the most effective. They add that smart metering is beneficial in reducing water use at homes and in detecting leaks in networks.

The report authors wrote that installing smart meters allowed utilities to send commands for monitoring at the meter location and receive collected data to be stored in a central database.

The report indicates that, as water loss from distribution networks in certain parts of Europe exceeds 40%, applying smart metering systems can provide accurate system flow and customer usage data, which can be used to detect and prevent leaks or unauthorized use.

The authors noted that the UK Environment Agency and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimated that implementing full metering of the water-stressed areas in southeast and eastern England may lead to reductions of 0.5 to 0.75 million tons of CO2e per year.

So, for example, Southern Water, one of the largest water and wastewater companies in England, started a five-year project in 2010 to install more than 500,000 Arad Gladiator water meters equipped with the unique integrated Dialog 3G AMR system. The project was aimed at ensuring that Southern Water could continue to supply high-quality drinking water to more than one million households in the south of England, one of the driest areas in the UK.

Frost & Sullivan analysts concluded that more water saved meant less water needed to be treated and supplied, which meant less energy was spent on treatment and distribution, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

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