The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most water scarce regions in the world. In 1950, per capita renewable water resources were 4,000 cubic meters per year. Currently, this figure is 1,100 cubic meters and by 2050 it will drop to 550 cubic meters as a result of climate change and rapid urbanization.
Dubai’s smart water meters
In response to water scarcity the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is installing smart meters across the Emirate enabling customers to receive real-time information on water consumption. This will enable them to monitor actual consumption to better understand and manage bill.
With energy being water-intensive DEWA’s smart meters will also provide customers the ability to help identify energy efficiencies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Overall DEWA aims to have 1.2 million meters installed within 5 years. The installation of the smart meters will be in two stages:
- Smart meter installation: 200,000 smart meters will be installed all over Dubai which will be connected to a new advanced computerized systems and software
- DEWA will install the remaining smart meters. Enhancements of the operating system will be performed in conjunction with increasing the number of installed meters
By rolling out smart meters in two stages it means Dubai can fix any bugs in the system before the smart meters are mainstreamed.
*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.