In The New York Times on Friday, I write about why business software giant Oracle sees big business in promoting smart water meters:
With many states projecting that they’ll face water shortages in the coming years, smart water meters that provide real-time data on water use can help conserve dwindling supplies.
Traditionally, consumers receive monthly or quarterly water bills, long after the resource has disappeared down the drain. If a smart meter could give real-time information on water use through an in-home video display, the hope is that consumers will curb their consumption when they see, for example, just how many gallons that long shower squanders.
Water districts, on the other hand, can tap such information to detect leaks and other problems and quickly make repairs.
And yet, 64 percent of 300 water districts surveyed in Canada and the United States have no current plans to roll out a smart meter program, according to a study by Oracle, the business software giant.
And why is Oracle interested in smart water meters? The company already sells software systems and services to water districts as well as to electric and gas utilities and sees a large potential market in smart water meters.
(An Oracle rival, IBM, has also targeted water has a money-maker, and it has been developing sensor networks for water agencies.)
“There’s a belief today that water is becoming a critical issue for the nation,” said Guerry Waters, vice president for industry strategy at Oracle Utilities. “It’s a growing issue we’re going to have to deal with, not unlike the issues driving the electric industry.”
But Oracle’s own survey indicates the challenges of both rolling out smart water meters and making a business of them.
You can read the rest of the story here.