The Internet of Things: Water Pipes

The phenomenon of “The Internet of Things,” connects devices and appliances to the internet so that it can be tracked for data. By connecting the Internet of Things to water pipes and outlets, we are able to better track water usage. “Smart sensors in water pipes are already helping reduce water loss and manage floodwater. Soon they will be able to monitor health and detect outbreaks of infectious diseases too.” [1] Sensor that are attached to pipes will allow people to monitor how much water they are using and ultimately curve their water use. This innovation has been implemented in many cities and many different sectors. Governmentally, cities and municipalities have used monitors to help residents pay less for water utilities. In Chicago, the City Department of Water Management initiated a MeterSave program. “Chicago’s MeterSave project converted single-family houses and two-unit dwellings from a flat-rate system to a pay-for-what-you-use system.” [2] These meters not only tracked water usage but also sent out signals to city officials to track the changes and make the appropriate changes to the water bill. Now that people know how much water they are using they can curve their usage and help converse freshwater. Additionally, residents are able to save money by only paying for what they use. In terms of social equity, those who use less water do not have to pay an arbitrary amount. The city of Chicago promotes the system by saying, “Meters allow single family and two-flat homeowners to pay for only the water actually used, encouraging efforts to save water and money while protecting one of our most precious natural resources.” [3] Its clear to see that the city is making a concerted effort place a heavy importance on water, knowing well that it will be the most important resource in the upcoming decades.

[1] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Top_10_Emerging_Urban_Innovations_report_2010_20.10.pdf

[2] http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-02-02/opinion/ct-oped-0202-watermeter-marriage-zorn-20140202_1_water-meter-water-bill-water-department

[3] https://www.cityofchicago.org/dam/city/depts/water/general/BillCust/meteredOrAssessed/dihawm.pdf

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One thought on “The Internet of Things: Water Pipes

  1. This is one of the most important aspects of this technological development: using it to better the day-to-day operations of people’s lives. I think that the more of this information is spread, the more that can be utilized for conscious purposes of climate change awareness. People will be able to gauge more of their consumption. However, I sometimes think that this contributes to the idea of the “jobless economy”, where it might cause a loss in a job for someone who can read the meter. It is a thought, some things may not be able to be replaced with technology.

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