Non-revenue water (NRW) is a major problem for municipalities and water utilities, accounting for significant losses in revenue due to leaks, theft, and other forms of unaccounted-for water. However, with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), there are now solutions available to help utilities better manage their water systems and reduce NRW.
One significant recent development is LoRaWAN, a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) technology that enables long-range communication between IoT devices. By using LoRaWAN, water utilities can deploy a range of sensors and devices to monitor their water systems in real-time and detect and locate leaks over the entire water network.
LoRaWAN is a perfect communication protocol for water and sewer networks covering a large geographical area with many hard-to-reach areas. The sensors with long battery life makes regular visits to remote areas unnecessary.
Here are some examples of LoRaWAN-based IoT solutions that can help reduce NRW:
- Smart meters: Smart meters equipped with LoRaWAN connectivity can monitor water usage in real-time, allowing utilities to detect anomalies and identify leaks or other issues as they occur.
- Flow sensors: LoRaWAN-enabled flow sensors can provide real-time data on water flow and pressure, enabling utilities to detect leaks or other issues before they become major problems.
- Pressure sensors: Pressure sensors can be deployed throughout the water system to monitor pressure levels and identify areas of low pressure that may be indicative of leaks or other issues.
- Acoustic leak detection sensors: Acoustic sensors can detect the sound of water leaks and alert utilities to their location, allowing for quick repairs.
- Asset trackers: LoRaWAN-enabled asset trackers can be attached to valuable water infrastructure, such as electric motors or pumps, to monitor their location and ensure they are not stolen or misplaced.
- Condition monitoring: Critical assets, such as raw water pumps and electrical motors can now be monitored continuously using vibration and temperature sensors with artificial intelligence (AI) to predict future failures.
The following diagram provides solutions that can be applied to an existing network:
Omicron-IoT offers a range of solutions for water utilities eager to reduce NRW, including real-time monitoring, quick detection and location of leaks, and improved asset management. With the availability of the IoT sensors, water utilities now have access to powerful tools that can help better manage their networks and reduce financial losses due to non-revenue water.
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