Smart Water Meters

Funded

Mid-Western Regional Council NSW

Mid-Western Regional Council Urban areas, New South Wales

Project stage

In progress

Timeframe

Start date: 27 February 2019
End date: 30 May 2020

Project value

Australian Government funding:
$1,262,618
Total:
$2,805,518

Partners

  • Australian Federal Government

Focus area

  • Facility and services management (buildings, energy, waste, utilities)
  • Public administration and customer service
  • Natural environmental data and measurement (air quality, dust, noise, waterways)

Project type

  • Other

Technology type

  • Internet of Things
  • Wi-Fi
  • Network infrastructure
  • Data Management (Data platform, open data, data privacy and security, blockchains, standards)
  • Smartphone applications
  • Hardware
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Cloud computing
  • Online portal

Project summary

According to the Mid-Western Region water meter reads, approximately 150 million litres of water was lost in the 2015/16 financial year. Smart Water Meters (SWMs) have the potential to save water by early leak detection and identifying patterns in water usage. They also save energy costs as less water than before is pumped to overhead distribution tanks. Less consumption also means less waste water, resulting in multi-pronged savings. The battery life of SWMs is between 12-15 years, a lengthy amount of time.

The innovative application of smart water technology enables Council and the community to work together to ensure the sustainability of future water supply in the region through education, water modelling and the management of leaks and water wastage. The SWM project will actively engage the community in planning, addressing economic, social and environmental challenges, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of Council’s urban service delivery of water technology.

As water consumers become more sophisticated and interested in their consumption, the open-system SWMs will allow immediate access to water usage content that residents can view at any time to meet their budgeting needs. SWMs will provide water data on an hourly basis and be a powerful management tool providing a high level of social, environmental and economic benefits to the local and wider community.

The challenge

Reduce the water extraction (by around 150ML/year from the Cudgegong/Macquarie River system, which feeds into the Darling River east of Brewarrina.

Solution

Having Smart Water Meters identifying leaks in the water reticulation for Mudgee, Gulgong, Rylstone. Kandos, Charbon and Clandulla.

Benefits

The reduction in the loss of valuable water from the river system, increasing the water volume downstream of these towns. This will benefit the Murray/Darling water balance

Lessons learned

Monitor the contractors, insure you keep the public informed and notify property owners of any leaks in their internal plumbing.

Outcomes

We have identified several properties which have had major leaks. The rectification of these leaks will reduce the water extraction from the Cudgegong River. The full benefits and effects will not be appreciated until after the end of the current drought.

Contact details

Name: Tom Baldwin
Email: tom.baldwin@midwestern.nsw.gov.au