AMI programme deployment

German metering company Diehl has signed a contract with Jamaica's National Water Commission to supply smart water meters and valves in a deal worth US$7.234 million.Diehl's local agent Deryck A Gibson will provide 50,000 solid state meters and 25,000 valves as part of the utility’s Kingston Metropolitan Area Water Supply Improvement Project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank to curb non- revenue water.

Commenting on the signing of the contract, the Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill, said: “The contract for meters was an essential part of the process of making the enterprise more efficient, reducing the cause of disputes and disagreements with customers.”

In addition, Mr Pickersgill said the smart water meters will positively benefit the utility’s infrastructure as they have a 15-year life span, the ability to record and calculate reverse flow, and have greater potential for remote readings.

Global market landscape for smart water meters

The news comes at a time when smart water technology is expected to see the biggest growth in the installed base of smart meters in the next five years.

As the global smart meter market for electricity and gas is reaching a degree of maturity, the focus is shifting toward modernising the ageing water distribution network, offering substantial market opportunity for OEMs, utilities and end-users.

This is according to a new report on the smart water metering landscape released last week by global market consulting and research firm ABI Research.

The report findings predict the need of utilities’ to efficiently manage limited fresh water in the face of increasing demand due to rapid urbanization will drive growth in the adoption of smart water meters.

Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst at ABI Research, said: "Smart water meters and data analytics are more critical components for water utilities.

"They can help improve distribution efficiency by reducing leakages and also serve to implement and monitor the effectiveness of water conservation programs.

"The lack of regulatory framework or a government mandate in the water sector has resulted in a lack of shared vision to modernize the water network."

As smart water meters are battery powered devices, choosing the right connectivity solution poses another unique challenge, says the analyst.

Long battery life of more than 10 years and signal propagation to reach meters that are often underground in pavements or driveways are critical to connect meters.

Diehl in smart water meter landscape

The report also notes that Itron, Landis+Gyr, Kamstrup, Diehl, Sensus and ARAD, among others, offer end-to-end solutions and continue to dominate the vendor landscape.

In regard to connectivity of smart meters, the report predicts the number of wireless WAN connections will surpass wireless mesh connections by as much as 5% in 2021.