Water utilities have been slow to adopt smart technology in part because of cost challenges.
“[The cost of installing a smart meter is a] heavy lift no matter what the size of the utility,” George Hawkins, DC Water’s chief executive officer and general manager, told Bloomberg BNA.
A breakdown of the costs, per the report from Bloomberg:
On average, a regular analog meter would cost $25. The average cost of installing a smart meter at each house in the nation’s capital is coming out to be $180, according to DC Water, which distributes drinking water and collects and treats wastewater for more than 672,000 residents and 17.8 million annual visitors in the District of Columbia.
Analysts agree that water utilities have been slow to adopt smart water management tools. According to an analysis of trends in the water industry by the engineering firm Black & Veatch, water utilities are “lagging in the planning process, and risk losing their seat at the table with electric and gas utility peer companies as the smart city programs advance.”
A report by the business consultants West Monroe, posted by Bloomberg BNA, found that about 20 percent of U.S. drinking water utilities have adopted smart meters, compared to about 60 percent of electric utilities.
To read the full article as it appears in Water Online, click here.