San Diego has had the goal of installing 280,000 smart water meters for several years, hoping to improve meter accuracy, provide real-time water use data and to eliminate human meter readers outright. However, the city is significantly behind schedule.
In just 2016, the city estimated that the project would be complete by early 2018, but the city has only installed roughly 90,000 meters to this point, with 75,000 of those meters lacking the real-time data feature they hoped to include in the project. The project was originally estimated to cost around $60 million, and that figure appears to be off as well.
Roughly one third of the city’s water navigates through systems with smart meters in place, but this update comes while the city moves towards preparation for another drought as California reels from new dry weather following the previous drought period from 2013-2017.
San Diego’s water supply is mainly sourced from the Colorado Rockies and Sierra mountain ranges, both of which have seen little snowfall this year. This, along with increased water consumption by San Diego citizens, water preservation may become especially pressing for the city if the upcoming season proves to be dry rather than wet.