By Johnathan Spencer Jones
Western Australia’s Water Corporation has launched a two-year 16,000 smart water meter pilot in Perth running to 2025.
The pilot, which was launched in August with the installation of the first smart water meters in West Perth, is aimed to enable the company to understand what the future of smart meters will look like for both customers and the business.
The Water Corporation has been using smart meters for over 10 years, particularly in larger commercial properties to help with water efficiency practices and in regional areas where it can be difficult for meter readers to access properties safely.
Now the intent is to take advantage of technological advances to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of meter readings while providing customers with a better online service.
In addition the smart water meters are expected to offer benefits such as leak identification – critical with water becoming increasingly scarce with Western Australia having seen an average 20% reduction in rainfall since the 1970s with a corresponding reduction in dam inflows.
The properties that have been selected for the pilot are intended to represent the broader Perth population. They include those with a mixed ground topography in the hills and on the coast, a mix of business and residential customers and properties with meters located in boxes or behind fences.
LoRaWAN IoT solution for 5,000 smart water meters
As part of the pilot, consultancy Enzen and its group company NNNCo have announced the deployment of a LoRaWAN IoT connectivity solution for more than 5,000 of the smart water meters.
Dileep Viswanath, CEO of Enzen Australia, comments that water scarcity is one of the most critical challenges facing communities in Western Australia.
“Our work will help create a best practice solution that will enable the utility and its consumers to manage this life essential in the most sustainable way.”
Rob Zagarella, CEO of narrowband network company NNNCo, adds that through its telecommunications carrier license and commercial agreement with Western Power, it can access the utility’s infrastructure across its Western Australia service territory.
“This means our LoRaWAN network can be built close to Water Corporation’s smart meters, without needing to access its assets, further reducing cost.”