Sunday Times

Climate change, accelerating urbanisation, and water scarcity are some of the many global challenges that water utilities are being forced to address in cost-effective ways. At the same time, a technological revolution is underway.

The intersection of water challenges and related technological developments suggests that the water sector has taken responsibility for changing the game. This is certainly the case in the City of Cape Town, which is en route to smart water, defined as the practice of combining intelligent water infrastructure with data analytics to yield actionable information and proactive water management.

The city has evaluated two game-changing apps from Utility Systems. These are utiliPro, the infield management app that allows technicians to manage and configure water management devices in the field, and utiliRead, the mobile app that facilitates walk or drive by meter reading and the capturing and navigation of meter reading routes.

This month both apps will be rolled out to approximately 500 terminals, constituting the first step in moving from automatic meter reading AMR to advanced metering infrastructure AMI. This shift will, in future, allow for the remote management, control and reading of all meters under the city’s management.

In practice, the city will be better able to control its water assets and execute strategic water planning, by leveraging a fully configurable smart metering device in a manageable and auditable way.