The city of Madison, Wis.’s journey to smart water metering started with a dilemma. The remote meter reading device the utility had been using since the mid-1970s to record customer water consumption was being discontinued. The utility, which serves 235,000 city residents, needed to find a new way to read meters. For decades, Madison Water Utility relied on three technicians to read meters at every home and business in the city twice a year, which meant big changes—as well as opportunities—were on the horizon.
Each year, an estimated 240,000 water main breaks occur in the U.S., according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. America’s aging water infrastructure is in need of repair as precious water resources are lost. Aging, leaking pipe contributes greatly to the issue of non-revenue water (NRW), or water that is pumped and then lost or unaccounted for. Globally, on average 34% of pumped water ends up as NRW, according to the International Energy Agency.