Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
We decided to revisit how the market is developing and take a look at some case studies that show how the investment in smart water meters and AMI is saving money and water.
Sales and Predictions
According to Frost and Sullivan, though the market share for smart
water meters is rising, the potential for sales is much higher than the actual sales today. Factors such as fear of data breaches, an under-developed business case, as well as a fractured and confused market, are constraining the actual number of sales.
As time goes by, however, these factors are expected to be mitigated, thus allowing the smart water meter market to get closer to its potential 
At the end of the day, the market drivers are stronger than the market constrainers. With a growing need for infrastructure maintenance, or replacement, as well as water shortages worldwide, many people are looking to smart IoT-based solutions. IHS Markit predicts that in five years’ time more than 50,000,0000 smart water meter units will be sold, about four times the sales of 2017. 
Studies that Make the Case for Smart Water Meters
- Due to severe drought in Western South Africa, dam levels are presently at 34%, down from 60% in 2016 and 100% in 2013. Cape Town and environs has imposed a limit of 87 liters per person per day. The problem with this solution, however, is that meters are manually read once a month and the user gets his bill two months after the meter reading. Smart meters are being brought in as an online, real-time solution whose MDM information can save the users money and Cape Town water. In addition to having individual and institutional users aware of their water consumption, the MDM system can rapidly report, leaks, burst pipes, open taps, and other problems that require immediate action. 
- Less than a year after installing a smart meter in the Hector Pieterson High School in Kraaifontein, a suburb of Cape Town, the school found that they saved 38,000 liters of water. Following this success and in light of the terrible drought affecting the area, it has been decided to add 100 smart water meters throughout this one school district. Members of the Educational Council are calling for all other districts to install smart waters meters to their schools. 
- The Bundaberg Regional Council in Queensland, Australia has voted to invest $1,000,000 in smart water meters after a heated debate. The opposing faction’s main argument is that in other Australian cities where they are using smart meters, only 20% of the people are using the information that the MDM provides. However, Bundaberg’s mayor, Jack Dempsey, argued that the average person doesn’t need to check the information, since the MDM systems proactively contact users when there is a problem. The deciding factor was that it was no longer practical to have users check their own meters. In addition to the errors, the city’s population consists of 20% pensioners for many of whom it is physically a problem to read their meters. 
- The Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) in Southern California has a three-year program that, each month, is replacing 5,000 analog water meters with smart water meters. In addition to the fact that 95% of leaks are now discovered and fixed immediately, the new program saves driving 170,000 miles a year to read meters. 
The Final Note
The world’s water experts are in agreement that smart water meters save thousands of liters of water a year and that they are essential in communities that are suffering from water shortages. All economic indicators show that as long as the cost of the meters and installation continue to be more affordable, the sales of meters will continue to rise until at least 2030.
We at the Arad Group are proud to be at the forefront of the smart water meter revolution, finding solutions for the ever growing water shortage with timely information to stop the waste of water, time and money.
 Frederick Royan, Smart Water Meter Market: Global and European Perspectives, November 6, 2014
 Michael Markides, Smart water market will surpass $2 billion globally in 2020, December 12, 2017
 MJ Booyson, How smart meters can save water in drought ridden Cape Town, September 5, 2017
 Marvin Charles, Water Crisis: Over 100 ‘water waster’ schools to receive smart water devices, December 5, 2017
 Jim Alouat, $1m for water meter plan, November 1, 2017
 Metering and Smart Energy Int., Municipal district intensifies AMI rollout with 5,000 installations per month, August 31,2017