The use of smart meters to enforce water restrictions could encourage widespread conservation — but not without local backlash, a new study has found. Amid California’s ongoing drought, researchers partnered with the city of Fresno in summer 2018 to access and identify water violations via household meter data.
As he set goals last Thursday for the Bay Area to conserve water, Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged the lack of metering provides no sense of how much water is used by California agriculture. Growers in the Watsonville area in Santa Cruz County, however, are metered, and the meters have resulted in significant water conservation.
The City of Oceanside received its second $1.5 million award from a federal agency to aid its new smart water meter installation project, the city announced.
The city is in phase two of a three-phase project to replace all 45,000 existing water meters with advanced metering infrastructure smart meters, confirmed Lindsay Leahy, Principal Engineer for the project.
In total, all three phases will cost an estimated $19.5 million — the cost of phase two is about $4.5 million, Leahy said.
San Diego took several steps this week to boost the accuracy of water bills, improve customer satisfaction and speed up the installation of digital “smart” meters.
The changes come after public outcry in 2017 and 2018 over exorbitant water bills received by many customers which city officials blamed on faulty meters, employee errors and mismanagement in the Public Utilities Department.