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Smart Meters Ireland: National water protest against Irish Water smart meter installation
Smart Meters Ireland: National water protest against Irish Water smart meter installation

Metering & Smart Energy International provides a round-up of the news creating headlines in the world of water this week:

San Antonio Water

In the US, San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is re-examining the utility’s loss prevention strategy after the arrest of a former employee for meter theft. The employee and his wife were arrested on 6 charges of theft, all relating to the sale of water meters to a metal recycling business.

"Unfortunately, this is a situation, not only here in San Antonio and not just with SAWS, but across the country,” said Anne Hayden, spokeswoman for SAWS. "With the metals market right now, there's a problem with theft of brass and copper, anything that can be resold."

In light of what allegedly has happened, Hayden said SAWS has begun making changes to prevent future thefts. "We work daily with the police department, as well as looking at implementing different loss-prevention policies," she said.

Irish Water trouble continue

Further arrests have been made in Ireland as protestors prevent utility crews from installing water meters across the country.

According to the Irish Herald, "it has become the norm for protesters from other areas to congregate at estates where water meter installations are going on to try and disrupt the works."

On Tuesday, Irish Water employees had to be escorted out of the area they were working in by police after protests disrupted work again.

In a separate demonstration on Tuesday, around 200 people protested outside the Irish Water headquarters on Talbot Street.

Northamptonshire benefits from Anglian Water £5 billion five-year investment programme

Anglian Water’s new business plan is being shaped by its customers, and the utility says it will be investing in the areas that customers said matter most to them.

In a consultation with more than 90% of the utility’s customers, a plan has been developed to deliver a £60 million war on leakage; investment to ensure resilient water and water recycling services, to protect customers and the environment from severe weather such as drought and flooding; and commitments to tackle the impacts of climate change.

Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water’s director of customer service said: “While committing to this multi-billion pound investment programme, average customer bills are dropping by seven per cent this year - the biggest percentage fall of all other water and sewerage companies in the UK.

“We’ve also introduced a brand new tariff for those struggling to pay and the Anglian Water Assistance Fund has been increased to £1 million to help customers facing real financial hardship.”

The LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households) tariff will be independently means-assessed by Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) Northampton and provide a discount on eligible customer’s bills according to their individual circumstances, reports the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

UC Santa Cruz launches new metering technology

The University of California Santa Cruz is launching new water meter technology that could lower water use and find elusive leaks quicker, KSBW has reported.

UC Santa Cruz has finalised a pilot programme using 10 Beacon cellular end point system devices connected to water meters, and is now expanding use of the devices throughout campus.

"What we're using is cellular technology to let users know how much water they're using in almost real time. They'll get hourly updates to see how much water they're using through the day," UC Santa Cruz spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason said.

Each meter is connected to a “device that works like a pager, a cellular endpoint that sits next to the meter.”

The end point sends information on usage to a central point once a day and faculty, staff, and housing managers will be able to view that information online.

One of the key elements of the technology is the ability to send email and text alerts if leaks are detected.

"[This] is great for smaller houses, but also great for campus, and our larger scientific buildings and dorms," says UC Santa Cruz Energy Manager Patrick Testoni.

Testoni says that, while behavioural information is currently hard to quantify, the University is expecting to see upwards of a 5% reduction in usage.