Water no longer a luxury: Why smart meters are the answer
Bengaluru, May 14: A relatively large portion of the Indian population is still unaware of water scarcity and problems regarding water conservation.
The society chooses to either ignore the problem or entirely dismiss the pressing issues of controlled water usage. This starts with everyday activities such as the South Indian practice of creating rangoli for which women unnecessarily use excessive amounts of water.
A majority of the Indian population, especially the older generation staunchly believes that as long as there is a river flowing through the state, they will not be affected and hence don't concern themselves with issues of dry spells or water conservation.
Deforestation of land in metropolitan cities is a leading factor for groundwater depletion.
Most apartments in Bengaluru are dependent on water supplied by tankers which causes loss of water as it seeps out of the old and poorly maintained containers.
"If people think water scarcity is yet to come, they are wrong. It is already here and they just don't see it. People still don't know how water reaches their taps and fail to understand how hard it is to get that water there", says Samson Samuel, president of the Neeladri Mahal Association II, Nandidurga Road who strongly recommends the use of the smart metering system.
Residents are charged with fixed water rates- paying for their neighbors too. Due to this flawed system, the neighbors do not have to account for their excessive use of water. Trying to correct this system, lead to the introduction of the smart meter.
What is a smart meter?
A "smart" water meter is a measuring device that has the ability to store and transmit consumption data frequently. Non- smart meters only measure total consumption, providing no information on when the energy was consumed. Smart meters provide a way of measuring this site-specific information allowing utility companies to charge different prices for consumption according to time of day and season.
Most people do not realize that unlike electricity there are no alternative sources of water. Without metering, there is no incentive for anyone to save water. Research has proven that our consumption drops by 35% once we start metering. Most housing complexes do not meter the water consumption of residents individually. Instead, the residents are charged a fixed flat rate. The individual consumptions are never equal which results in most residents paying for others' consumption as well.
This makes people insensitive towards water wastage in their homes. With the help of smart meters, each consumption is recorded and sent to the user and billing engine.