Top 5 Smart Water Metering Solutions

What is smart water? 

Smart water management is a smart system designed to gather meaningful data based on the flow, pressure, leakage detection, and distribution of a city’s water. Its main objective is to make sure that the infrastructures and energy used to manage water are administrated and overseen effectively. 

Water management in cities is increasingly appreciated due to financial and environmental sustainability focus drawn by city’s rulings ana management. The increase in city’s population and expert urbanizing makes planning crucial to create an efficient connection between supply and demand, giving IoT and smart water management a key role.  

Countries around the globe are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of effective water management, especially due to the critical water situation we currently live in. According to recent studies, the global smart water management market was worth around 7 billion dollars in 2015 and has grown to reach 16,5 billion in 2020. This increase comes not only because of the increase in available technology, but also because of the increasing number of cities discovering all the benefits this form of management can bare for them, and all the operational cost savings that can be brought out from it. 

Another major problem developing countries are currently facing is the increase in operational costs caused by deteriorating infrastructures. These countries are searching for ways to reduce these costs, finding that IoT smart water management systems are the best alternative. But Smart water management doesn’t only help to reduce costs, it also allows countries to improve the quality of the water serviced to their citizens, a crucial part in the increase of health and life-quality. 

How do smart meters work? 

One of the best parts of IoT smart water meters is that they are smart throughout the whole installation process as well as in the implementation.  

Smart metering devices transmit brief, low-powered data recollected by the devices to dashboards which break down the information, giving understandable insights. Unlike mechanical water meters, this data is transmitted through a wireless network, such as LoRaWAN®, providing more accurate readings. 

LoRaWAN® technology is used in IoT as a pose to others because of its long-distance capability and resilience in hardous environments. The use of LoRaWAN® networks is one of the main keys to the success of metering aplications like these. LoRaWAN® is a widely used wireless protocol that allows battery-powered sensors to communicate with IoT applications via a long-range, ultra-low data rate connection, resulting in longer battery life.  

Smart Water meters are normally powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. These batteries can last up to 7 years, making the solution need minimal care from technicians once installed. These IoT meters are also normally light weighted, compactly sized, simply wired, and prepared for an easy installation. 

What is the cost of installing a smart water solution?  

The cost of implementing smart water metering is majorly a one-time cost, as once installed, the devices do not need much maintenance, possessing a long battery life and being extremely durable. 

In general, the cost of smart water management meters runs around an average of 100 euros. Additionally, if the deployment is new, it might require a gateway to cover the connectivity of the area where the devices are installed, as well as some end application software depending on the users’ needs. Gateways have varied costs depending on the network technology, and the software can also have a great cost variation depending on the needs, if it is preferable to have a readily available one which can cut don costs, or if a custom built one is necessary to adjust to strict demands. 

How to choose the best water meter solution 

Some water management meters cannot be charged or replaced, this is one of the reasons why choosing the right device is so important, as this must be as durable as possible. It is also important to know if the device needs to fit indoor or outdoor areas, and the range of the connectivity they are going to be hooked on to. 

An extended range, low power, and robust connectivity for indoors or outdoors is most of the demand for this type of device, which leads us to LoRaWAN® as the perfect network connectivity and therefore, the perfect sensors, offering high reliability and reducing costs to a minimum. 

Our top 5 solution selection 

Bearing in mind all the previously mentioned, here is a selection of the best five smart water metering solutions on the market: 

  1. Robeau – LoRaWAN In-Building Water Smart Meter 

This in-building water management solution allows to detect leaks in real-time and receive alerts about them. It also monitors water networks and analyzes water consumption in a building, system, etc. and offers predictive maintenance advice, helping to save water, and in consequence saving money on water bills and helping with environmental impact. 

  1. Betar-Vega SHVE/SGVE – LoRaWAN Electronic Water Meter 

This electronic water meter allows to account the flow of hot and cold water and transfers these readings through LoRaWAN®. It includes an “electronic antimagnetic seal” which fixes an external magnetic field and blocks the device’s display. The device is powered by a 3400 mAh SAFT battery, ensuring long-life battery span. 

  1. Sensing Labs – Outdoor Water Detection 

This smart wireless module also features LoRaWAN® connectivity. It alerts through an alarm as soon as water presence is detected, containing a 5-meter (and up to 25 m on demand) detection cable and has a connectivity range of up to 15 kilometers. 

  1. EMS – LoRaWAN Digital Domestic Water Meter 

This smart meter allows to take on a wide range of use cases through only one device. The EMS meter detects water leaks, flow consumption, flow performance, and has tamper proof capability, also offering a 10-year lifespan with no maintenance needed. 

  1. Atim – Smart Meter 

The Atim Smart Meter facilitates the remote reading of meters with a pulse output, and by reporting dry contact status. It allows to monitor the index of different meters, water, or electricity consumption, and also alerts about intrusions by detecting the opening or closing of a door or an isolated site.  

 

Top use cases 

Brunei has recently made its water management system smart through the use of LoRaWAN®-connected devices. 

Anian, a Brunei-based IoT solutions provider, has deployed a whole LoRaWAN® network throughout the Sultanate of Brunei, serving the country’s government, universities, and private sector to improve the management of cities, environment, and agriculture, with a focus on the monitorization of the river’s water levels, wastewater pumping stations, water quality and infrastructure. 

Initially, the need was to monitor water levels in Brunei’s rivers to avoid flooding, as this is a frequent issue, which generates incredible losses and is difficult to predict. Therefore, it is important to be warned as soon as possible to be able to prepare the population and limit the damage to as little as possible. 

Other recurring problems in the country included the management of wastewater and pumping stations. These often broke down, generating tides and water on parking lots and highways, as well as decreasing the quality of the water and damaging infrastructures. 

These solutions have been deployed using Actility’s ThingPark platform to cover the network and the application provided by IoThink Solutions.