Every Drop Counts: IoT-Enabled Smart Water Meters
Every Drop Counts: IoT-Enabled Smart Water Meters

May 18, 2021

80% of all diseases in the developing world are water-related. Clean drinking water will soon become the most valuable resource in the world. Over one billion people in developing countries already don’t have access to safe drinking water. Not only are we using up our available water supply, which is finite, but our population also continues to grow. By 2025, the UN estimates that 30% of the world’s population residing in 50 countries will face water shortages. Agriculture alone can consume up to 90% of a region’s available freshwater, and we only have 2.5% of freshwater left to drink. Yet, daily, we use 10B tons of freshwater worldwide. [1]

Water Conservation Strategies

Many different options can be used to conserve and protect our water supply. One option is to recycle water. For instance, roughly 90% of the wastewater generated in Israel is reclaimed; 20% is reclaimed in Spain. However, the cost of recycled water exceeds that of potable water in many countries, where a freshwater supply exists. Reclaimed water systems usually require a dual-piping network, often with additional storage tanks, which adds to the costs of the system. There are also difficulties in isolating inorganic and organic pollutants.

Another option is desalination, which involves removing salt from seawater. Kuwait already desalinates 100% of its water use. However, the cost of untreated fresh water in developing countries can reach the $5 per cubic meter, especially in places that are both far from the sea and high. Desalination plants need to be placed on ~25 acres of land on or near the shoreline. This option also produces large quantities of brine and generates harmful chemicals that can leach into aquifers, etc. [2,3]

New water conservation techniques desperately need to be created and used to prevent a global water shortage.  Both reclaiming and desalinating water are expensive processes and require the use of large amounts of energy, which generates air pollution. Desalination also removes iodine from water, which increases the risk of iodine deficiency disorders in people. Increased water conservation and efficiency remain the most cost-effective approaches in areas with a large potential to improve the efficiency of water use practices.

IoT-Enabled Smart Water Meters

Metering water supply provides an incentive to conserve water that protects water resources, postpones costly system expansion, saves energy and chemical costs, allows suppliers to charge for water based on use, and is the fairest way to allocate water supply costs to users. However, most cities are still using analog meters to measure water usage in homes and businesses. These meters cannot report water usage to the water authorities or the residence or business owners as they lack connectivity. When someone wants to check water usage, they have to go and read the meters themselves.

Water-stressed countries are leading the shift from traditional water meters to smart water meters, even as governments worldwide alter policies to enhance the effectiveness of their water networks to manage consumption levels. Connected smart meters leveraging Internet of things (IoT) technology, such as sensors and mobile apps, enable owners to view their water usage more easily and receive alerts if they’re using too much water. Using this technology, smart water meters enhance revenue generation, predict consumption patterns, and improve billing efficiency.

There’s already a steady rise in the demand for IoT-enabled smart water meters due to their multiple real-time visualization capabilities, leak detection, and machine-to-machine communications. Smart water meter installations are expected to grow from 13.8M units in 2017 to 82.1M units by 2026. China is the fastest-growing market due to its rapid urbanization, smart city development, and favorable policies. The USA is also experiencing high demand due to its utilities’ focus on reducing non-revenue water losses and adopting smart billing. [4]

Syrma: India’s Green Manufacturer

Our team cares about protecting our natural environment and resources. Over the years, we’ve designed and manufactured many products that are designed to be eco-friendly. For example, we’ve produced water sensors for a large overseas government. These smart sensors track water consumption per region and detect leaks to conserve water usage. We’ve also assisted with developing a similar product, which is a line of electronic indoor air quality monitors that are used to detect pollutants emitted within power facilities.

We’re particularly proud of our recent certification as a Green-Rated Supplier on sustainability by one of our primary clients, a leading international electronics corporation ranking among the Forbes Global 500. Several of our other clients have been likewise impressed with our strong environmental record, indicating that they want to do more when it comes to helping preserve our environment while we still can. 

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

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