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PCP for Water Smart Metering

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Handling water supply now made easy thanks to smart monitoring

By offering accurate consumption information, smart water metering is an optimal tool for water management. Novel solutions are now available for both households and water providers.

Food and Natural Resources Food and Natural Resources

Smart water metering presents itself as an effective solution to the challenges faced by most European water utilities today, from extreme events induced by climate change to the need to replace ageing infrastructure. Providing access to accurate data in real time can help decrease operating costs and prioritise infrastructure investments while also improving the daily management of networks and customer services. The EU-funded SMART.MET project introduced new innovative smart water metering solutions that fully cater to the needs of water utilities in terms of readability, battery lifetime, interoperability and cost. SMART.MET has resulted in tangible innovation related to the integration of advanced features to achieve a high level of smart metering data collection. Also achieved is improvement of the leakage detection in the network, stable communication in real-life conditions (even in rural areas or in adversary conditions, e.g. cellars, basement garages) and elimination of gateways for data transfers for a very high level of performance on the data collection platform.

Connecting water demand with supply

The participation in the pre-commercial procurement process allowed water utilities to increase their technical know-how regarding smart meters, communication networks and required functionalities that will allow them to find appropriate solutions to their needs and better negotiate possible contracts with providers. At the same time, the companies had the opportunity to better understand the needs of their targeted clients and prepare a new generation of smart meters. They developed communication and started marketing such products beyond the group of buyers involved in the project by presenting their development in fairs and publications in technical journals. Thanks to SMART.MET they also initiated collaboration with other companies and research organisations, launched several patent investigations and prepared a marketing strategy to expand their business. The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a real challenge for the installation of smart meters in households in five different European cities (approximately 3 000 meters in total). “Due to travel restrictions, all installations were carried out by water operators instead of the providers, and the installation process was much longer due to the safety rules,” confesses Eric Mino, project coordinator on behalf of the International Office for Water in France. “The entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 was also a challenge as smart meters are collecting household data,” Eric Mino adds. “Data security was already a core part of the smart meters, but it was necessary to collect GDPR agreement from each household where new meters were going to be installed. This constraint was converted into a communication and awareness campaign opportunity.”

Paving the way for the water management of the future

The five water utilities involved in the real-life testing phase have examined the option to extend the test duration of the solutions developed by contractors beyond the duration of SMART.MET to gain additional knowledge on them and possibly launch a public procurement for innovation. “Beyond the project partners, results have been promoted widely among European water utilities facing similar challenges,” concludes Eric Mino. “We also foresee that some of the data collected can be aggregated and opened for further exploitation in digital twins and smart cities applications.”


SMART.MET, water utilities, households, smart water metering, water management, pre-commercial procurement, water providers

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