Smart Water management Itron
Middle East smart meters water scarcity
Utility Systems said it sees opportunity in the STS prepayment market in the Middle East as the need for water management grows

South African water management device company Utility Systems has announced plans to expand its metering business into the Middle East.

Utility Systems, of which JSE-listed MICROmega Holdings is the majority shareholder, is a supplier of water management devices and smart water metering technology, using standard transfer specification pre-payment devices.

Water management deals

The Durban-based company said it has held meetings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.

Peter Rodseth, managing director of Utility Systems, said it will supply meters for pilot testing in Dubai and Sharjah with distributor Lootech and the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, and in Muscat with the Public Authority of Electricity and Water.

SEWA has already taken delivery of the first batch of Utility Systems WMDs to start its initial pilot site.

Mr Rodseth said: "This will be an important reference site.

"Not only for SEWA but also for other water authorities in the UAE. Utility Systems is likely to conduct pilot programmes for these authorities using the Kamstrup ultrasonic meter which, after lengthy testing, is about to be approved for use in the region."

STS prepaid rollouts

In Oman, the Muscat Public Authority of Electricity and Water is likely to be starting a pilot site for STS pre-payment meters in the near future as it has elected to install STS-based pre-payment meters across the country, for both electricity and water, said Rodseth.

The Dubai-based Lootah group has interests in many business sectors in the region, with offices in the UAE and Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, as well as down the North East coast of Africa from Egypt to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Tanzania.

The group will be partnering with Utility Systems to develop these markets.

Greg Morris, CEO of MICROmega, said: "This step into the Middle East market represents a significant opportunity for Utility Systems to expand its international footprint, while maintaining its position as a world leader in the provision of smart water metering solutions and so helping address the very serious need for better global water management."

The UAE is among the top water-scarce countries in the world, according to consultancy EcoMENA.

The country also has one of the world's highest per capita water consumptions of 550 litres a day, and is experiencing a rapid increase in population, resulting in huge demand for water, according to EcoMENA.