Water Smart metering
About this good practice
As one of first cities in the Czech Republic, Ostrava uses remote metering of water consumption. The smart metering was introduced by the city-owned company Ostravské vodárny a kanalizace a.s. in 2017. The company won a special jury award for its significant contribution to smart drinking water management in the national competition "Smart Cities for the Future". Currently, over 15 thousand transmitters have been installed. By installing the remote metering system, Ostrava created a network, which allows a smart metering both of water and energy. The smart management of measuring water and energy consumption has the capacity to save up to 5% of energy by performing remote metering and remote control of the network. Energy savings lead to an estimated 2% reduction of carbon footprint. The advantage of smart water metering is that the consumer has a constant overview of the current water consumption. If there is a leakage, the system issues a warning. The system works on the principle of transmitting data from transmitters located on the water meters, which use a digitally encoded signal. The receivers transmit data to a data storage using GPRS technology and then via an interface to a data management system. The remote reading gets the data from the water meters without the necessity of service staff intervening on the spot. This spares water costs, costs for data management, and avoids the necessity of staff transportation, which has a direct impact to CO2 emissions.
The existing water meters are successively being replaced according to routing replacement schedule. The data evaluation, billing, network monitoring is performed by the existing staff. The acquisition costs were 30 000 000 CZK. The whole project is financed from the budget of a city-owned company.
Evidence of success
The monitoring of the water network has improved. The customers gained access to the consumption history and can set up alerts on their consumption. The need to access the water meters physically for regular readings or servicing has been removed. This solution saves transportation and service costs, which has a direct impact on energy consumption. Saving energy leads to a reduction of carbon footprint.
Potential for learning or transfer
The deployment of remote water meters is a pioneer activity. Ostrava was one of the first to implement remote meter reading on such a large scale. Therefore, a technical, operational, and legal analysis had to be carried out at the outset. After an analysis of the functionality of the pilot, the next phase of the project was proceeded to, namely the software interconnection with the existing information system. The final step was to make the technology available under the commercial name "Smart Metering". These steps made it possible to set up internal processes for future development and operations. Especially the legal and organizational experiences are worth to be presented as good practice. At a practical level, the project is an example of reducing carbon footprint by smart energy savings: No necessity of physical metering on spot by staff every few weeks. Early identification of water leakages. Smart water management and thus reduction of the energy-intensive water production.