Liquid Gold: Using IoT Technology to Help Ration Water Usage

While residents of the eastern United States have been pummeled with more snow than they can handle, the western United States is facing the opposite problem. A drought in California has led to mandatory water restrictions. This is causing everyone in the Golden State to ration water usage.

Cities and towns across California have been ordered to reduce water usage by 25 percent, a savings of approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months. The edict calls on local water agencies to adjust their rate structures to implement conservation pricing, which is recognized as an effective way to realize water reductions and discourage water waste.

One problem is that many consumers don’t know how much water they are using, an issue that is particularly acute among property owners who manage multiple units or customers.

Using a solution provided by a company like Avyzo, there are several ways that an IoT (Internet of Things) solution can help reduce water use

IoT can effectively track and bill individual water use.

Without IoT solutions, property owners struggle with a way to track which units use the most water so they can bill them individually. Consequently, if tenants don’t know how much water they are using, and only pay a flat rate, they are not incentivized to use less. Remote sub-metering of water usage allows property managers to accurately gauge how much water each unit is consuming and prorate the bills accordingly, giving tenants a financial reason to reduce their water consumption.

IoT can monitor for leaking faucets or water main breaks in near-real time.

A leaking faucet is wasting water – and money. But often tenants aren’t aware of which faucet has an issue, or aren’t concerned with getting it fixed if they aren’t paying for it. Remote monitoring can alert owners to unnatural water consumption patterns, allowing for a quick fix.

IoT can help individuals reduce their water use.

As they say in the corporate world, what gets measured gets managed. And that’s true for natural resources too. One study on smart electrical meters found that homeowners who were given information on their use in real time used less energy than those who weren’t, a finding that would surely impact water usage as well. ServiceMax’s dashboard reports display real-time and historical data insights so users can see aggregated water usage information for different buildings, drill down to specific units, or see trends in water usage during different times of day or times of the year.

IoT can be a major component of any conservation program.

As the mandates go into effect, Californians will be eager for any tool that will help them monitor and conserve water. Implementing an IoT solution provides the data and insights that consumers need to track their own personal water consumption and make changes that will help them save that liquid gold.

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