The Smart Grid for Water Gets Bigger
Smart metering isn’t just about electricity — natural gas and water are important market sectors too. Water, in particular, is primed for growth, as rising global demand and ever-shrinking supplies of fresh water make preventing the massive losses in the water sector worth spending money on.
Indeed, with much of the world’s water infrastructure nearly a century old, there’s a crying need to prevent “non-revenue” losses suffered by water utilities. The World Bank estimates that worldwide costs from unmetered water total $14 billion annually, and the EPA reports that the United States loses about 6 billion gallons of water from leaks every year.
That, in turn, is driving increased investment in technology to properly meter water, detect leaks, identify degrading systems and otherwise make water delivery more efficient. That investment can range from region-wide smart water projects, such as IBM’s investments in projects in Malta, Australia, Japan and the United States, to small-scale water meter deployments for municipal and regional water utilities across Europe and North America.