San Francisco turns to smart water meters during drought



Quick Take:  In the early days of the smart grid, we used to joke that what the industry needed most was another big blackout. Especially a blackout that hit the homes of policymakers.


In the same vein, it sometimes takes a crisis to get people thinking seriously about smart water networks. And California certainly has a crisis on its hands in terms of its historic drought. See below how San Francisco is moving forward with smart water meters. Will other California towns follow suit? And will California become the pacesetter that encourages other regions to get on board? - Jesse Berst


The state of California is suffering severe to exceptional drought conditions. Many farmers have let fields lie fallow because there isn’t enough water to irrigate. Communities heavily reliant on agriculture are experiencing record high unemployment. And that all boils down to serious concerns about the country’s food supply.


But asking people to cut back on their water use is hard to do when they have no idea how much they’re 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 they’re saving, according to an article in SFGate.


The program is part of the city’s $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% voluntary reduction in water use.

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