Water companies wait for someone else to take the plunge on smart metering

On the subject of automating mundane processes, a recent study released by Oracle Utilities, a business unit of the software giant, showed that only 7 percent of more than 300 water utilities surveyed have fully implemented advanced metering, a technology that enables two-way communications between customers and a water company via a networked smart meter. Another 7 percent have begun pilot programs, and a similar number have plans in place to use the new technology.

The technology, similar to that being touted for the nation’s electricity grid, could enable conservation by providing detailed, real-time data about water usage. But no one wants to be on the cutting edge of this wave, said Guerry Waters, vice president of industry strategy at Oracle Utilities.

“What they are waiting for is for some project to get into full implementation so that they can see that everything is going to work,” Waters said.

The primary concerns about advanced metering include the costs of implementing such a system, security, interoperability and long-term product support in what is now an emerging and proprietary industry.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com)

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (Shutterstock.com)

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected