California smart water network
California has implemented its first statewide mandatory water restrictions as the state is affected by drought for the fourth year running
Kamstrup smart water meter certified for California
California in its fourth year of drought prompting the state's first nationwide mandated restriction on water

In the US, Kamstrup's flowIQ smart water meter has passed certification tests in the drought-stricken state of California for use in individual metering applications.

The Danish metering company announced last week that the State of California had tested the smart water meter using ultrasonic measurement to see if the unit is precise enough to detect small amounts of water, such as a dripping faucet.

The meters were checked multiple times in vertical and horizontal mounting positions and were approved in multiple sizes for both cold and hot water applications up to 60°C (140°F).

Multi-tenant water meter market

Kamstrup is targeting the water submetering market with its flowIQ model.

The meter can be read remotely, allowing managers of multi-tenant properties to collect data without entering a tenants’ home or place of business.

The company supplies remote meter reading technology either as a USB stick solution - called USB Meter Reader - or smartphone solution READy, which uses Google Maps to map meter locations.

The meter reading technology displays consumption data as well as flags up high and low flows, leaks, bursts, or tampering.

Statewide water restrictions

The news comes as California has implemented its first statewide mandatory water restrictions as the state is affected by drought for the fourth year running.

Last week, the state's top water regulators released a framework for enforcing a 25% cut for non-agricultural users ordered by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, with smart water meters central to the plan, reports Reuters.

In the state capital of Sacramento, the local water utility only meters half of the total households and businesses.

By the end of next year, Sacramento will have spent US$145 million installing meters but will still have nearly 40% of its water customers unmetered.

Other cities still working to install meters include Bakersfield and Merced.

Cities report that conservation has gone up after meters have been deployed, according to the news agency.

By the end of 2014, a year after Fresno finished installing its meters, water consumption in the city had dropped by 27% from 2008, the year before the project began, said city spokesman Mark Standriff.