Climbing global water demand 'to drive smart meter adoption'
30 May 2012
Posted by John Bull
The installation of smart water meters looks likely to increase as a result of rising levels of demand during the next two decades.
A new report by Pike Research warns utilities will see pressures on suppliers grow and a developing need for resources to be managed as efficiently as possible.
The 2030 Water Resources Group forecasts a 40 per cent jump in demand for water between now and 2030, with this increase higher than 50 per cent in some developing nations.
Smart water meters provide an intelligent way of managing supplies and Pike Research anticipates the number of devices using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) will rise from 10.3 million in 2011 to 29.9 million in 2017, with an estimated market value of $476 million by 2030.
In the UK, parts of the south-east and East Anglia have been hit by drought, with water companies imposing hosepipe bans and urging people to conserve resources as reservoir levels have dropped.
Neil Strother, Senior Analyst at Pike Research, stated: "Smart water meter deployments are picking up pace in Europe and North America, and we are beginning to see stronger interest in AMI water meters in other regions as well."
Several years of below-average rainfall have been partially blamed for the current shortages in England and Mr Strother pointed to plans by Thames Water to expand a trial of smart meter and grid infrastructure from Reading to London as evidence of firms increasing activity in this area.
A recent study provided information that could allay health and safety fears relating to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless smart meters.
Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand discovered the devices fall "well within" the national standards for general public exposure and levels are lower than those found in mobile phones.
Dr Bill Heffernan of the institution's College of Engineering explained the study for Arc Innovations also discovered the devices exposed people to less radiation than wireless routers or laptops in general.