The state of California is suffering severe to exceptional drought conditions. Many farmers have let fields lie fallow because there isnt enough water to irrigate. Communities heavily reliant on agriculture are experiencing record high unemployment. And that all boils down to serious concerns about the countrys food supply.
But asking people to cut back on their water use is hard to do when they have no idea how much theyre using or saving. As a result, San Francisco will become one of the first major U.S. cities to deploy technology that gives residents online access to their water accounts and the information they need to see how much water they use and how much theyre saving, according to an article in SFGate.
The program is part of the citys $56 million program that has installed smart water meters in 180,000 homes and businesses. The expectation is that it will help residents achieve a 10 per cent voluntary reduction in water use.
The article quotes state water officials as saying less than 10 per cent of the state has the technology, but that more agencies are signing despite the cost in what has been the third consecutive year of dry conditions.
In any event, its not going to happen overnight. Some water utilities are starting to test smart water meters, and a few that have never had meters before are introducing the technology, too.
But as Peter Brostrom, water efficiency manager for the state Department of Water Resources, was quoted as saying, Its an emerging technology. Its not widespread. He did add that he expected that in time every water district will adopt the technology. Theres a lot of conservation benefit.
Source: Smart Grid News
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