Growing demand for water for household and industrial activities is placing strain on limited water resources globally: By 2030, a business-as-usual approach to water management in North America alone will see annual demand for water increase by 42% compared to 2005 levels. To reduce demand for limited water resources cities can invest in advanced metering systems that help utilities reduce leakage from the water supply system and educate household and commercial customers on how to use water efficiency.
Pittsburgh’s advanced water metering system
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is installing state-of-the-art Automatic Meter Infrastructure (AMI) technology throughout the city. The AMI system will enhance automatic meter readers with a wireless system that collects multiple reads throughout the day, allowing for better leak detection as well as helping customers, both domestic and commercial, learn about water conservation strategies.
One of the key features of PWSA’s project is a web-based reporting system that allows customers access to their daily consumption data to check usage and set alerts for high consumption. Customers can even access their consumption data and receive alerts from anywhere in the world.
AMI systems allow cities to detect water leakage quickly and educate consumers on how simple water conservation efforts can lead to great savings.
*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley). Urban Water Security argues that, with climate change and rapid urbanization, cities need to transition from supply-side to demand-side management to achieve urban water security.