San Diego switching to conservation-friendly ‘smart’ water meters

Smart water meters, which make conservation easier for customers, will replace outdated meters for all San Diego water customers by early 2020, city officials say.

A successful pilot program last year, during which 11,500 such meters were installed, has prompted the city to revamp another 85,000 meters so they can handle transmitters that will enable the new technology.

Once those are fully upgraded, the city’s remaining 185,000 meters will also be revamped so smart meters can be installed during the next three years.

In addition, the city plans to launch an app called “mywatereasy” this fall to allow customers to access their water usage with mobile devices.

Smart meters give customers a clearer picture of the usage — and potential wasting of water — by replacing field inspections with electronic readings that can track hourly and daily usage.

That allows customers to better gauge how much water is devoted to drinking, showers, washing clothes, irrigation of landscaping and possible leaks.

While smart meters are still relatively rare nationally, they are becoming increasingly common in drought-conscious California.

Less than 25 percent of the roughly 100 million water meters in the U.S. are smart models, but San Francisco has already converted all of its meters.

The city chose high-volume water users as the 11,500 customers in the smart meter pilot program.

Read more >>>