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Smart water meter project brings massive savings and kudos to university

smart water meter system involving almost 200 cloud-connected devices at the Australian National University campus in Canberra has garnered a category award at the Australian IoT Awards 2017.

ANU, which partnered with WaterGroup to create the Campus Water Monitoring System, took out the inaugural Professional Services Industry award.

The university had more than 180 smart water meters installed by WaterGroup across its network in August 2016. The devices were then connected to WaterGroup's cloud platform via mobile networks, with the smart meters helping the university identify unaccounted water use and prioritise water-saving measures.

“ANU is committed to running a sustainable and environmentally friendly campus, and the recent introduction of smart water meters is a step towards that goal,” the award citation stated.

“Previously the university would receive a quarterly water bill and wouldn’t have any more detail on their usage beyond that,” said WaterGroup’s Senior Metering Coordinator Rian Sullings.

“Now they get water usage information in 15-minute intervals from each water meter and can identify leaks.”

In just six weeks, an estimated $300,000 in potential water usage savings were identified.

The smart water meter program has also enabled a number of other positive outcomes, including the establishment of sustainability challenges for student accommodation groups to compete on water-use efficiency.

The ANU and WaterGroup beat out two other Professional Services Industry category finalists, including a monitoring solution that provided real-time insight into fuel levels and pump equipment operations for petrol stations, and a cloud-based system that used sensors to monitor the internal temperatures of cafe refrigeration units.

University campuses are often referred to as microcosms of cities, which means they provide useful case studies for how smart water networks can be applied at larger scales.

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