We’ll survive this drought: $36b going to smart water infrastructure


The drought in California is one of the worst the state has experienced in history, and it doesn’t look like things are going to get better any time soon. The thing is, California is not the only state, or even country experiencing a drought right now.

According to a recent report, we are experiencing global drought due to extreme hot weather conditions, and this has lead to many tapping into the aquifers or underground water supplies. Though aquifers can be replenished via rain and snow melting, more water is being removed than replaced. Researchers believe that we are in a critical situation and need to act fast before things get much worse.

Drought and hot weather conditions aren’t the only reasons we are running low on water supply. We can also blame leakage and theft for this. Though we are powerless against nature, we sure can do something about water leakage and theft to minimize water loss, and one of the solutions is investing in smart water infrastructure.

Demand for smart water infrastructure

According to Northeast Group LLC, smart water infrastructure, which includes metering, networks and software, provides a cost effective means to address our current water problem. The firm estimates that 2015-2025, the world will invest $35.9 billion in smart water infrastructure.

“Increasing water scarcity and poor distribution infrastructure are major challenges for water utilities across the globe,” according to Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. “Smart water infrastructure has the potential to save $27.5 billion per year globally. This is a conservative estimate and potential savings could be much higher.” Smart water infrastructure helps utilities to reduce what is known in the industry as “non-revenue water” (NRW) or water lost before reaching the customer.

As consumers, we cannot just rely on the government to invest in smart water infrastructure, as we can also do our part and help by reducing water waste and consumption.

Smart faucets

Oras Oy offers smart faucets and shower fixtures which can help consumers reduce water waste. Some of its offerings include the Smart Bidetta, which can be remotely controlled as well as allow users to preset desired water temperature. No more wasting water while waiting for it to warm up or cool down before hopping in the shower or washing hands.

Leak sensors

Water waste can also be due to leaky pipes. In order to stay on top of things, you can invest in a device like the Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor which retails for $39.99. The device is placed under your sink and if water is detected by the device, it will notify the person via the smartphone app, that it has detected water. By being able detect a leak early, you can minimize water waste through preventative measures.

Smart sprinkler

If you have a lawn or garden that needs to be watered, there are smart systems available to help keep plants alive while still saving water. One of these devices is Blossom, a smart garden sprinkler which is able to automatically adjust how much water is released to your plants based on several factors such as real-time weather, the type of plants you have and even the type of sprinkler you have installed. Blossom retails for $199.

Photo by Kevin Cortopassi