San Francisco has spent $56 million on smart water meters that allow residential and commercial customers to track how much water they’re using, all part of a voluntary effort to reduce water consumption by 10%, according to an article posted at SFGate.
The program, launched on May 21, has placed the meters in 180,000 homes and businesses as California tries to cope with an extended drought. According to the SFGate report, the city has had trouble so far in meeting its 10% conservation goal.
Smart meters use the same technology as smart electric meters that have been installed by many utilities. The new water meters track consumption and send the data wirelessly to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission four times a day. Consumers can look at the information as it’s received and compare consumption to past use as well as city averages.
According to the report, less than 10% of the state has the smart-meter technology, although many water districts have looked into it. “It’s an emerging technology,” Water Resources efficiency manager Peter Brostrom told SFGate. “It’s not widespread.”