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Water is a resource that increasingly needs to be protected and better managed. Around the world, water utilities are facing challenges to improve their efficiency by providing better information about water usage to end-users and to better control assets management and operations.
To achieve these goals, water utilities are embarking on a digital transformation journey. Globally, they have been at the forefront of the smart revolution, with the large deployment of smart meters and over devices. However, many utilities have yet to be connected effectively. They provide only limited benefits, because the related data is only valuable once it has been aggregated so it can be analysed and acted on.
Connectivity, therefore, has become the final frontier for enabling truly smart utilities. So-called smart meters can’t achieve their potential intelligence and value without being reliably, robustly and cost-effectively managed.
Connecting all the sensors, meters and controls is complex, with many variables to take into account. As the landscape becomes more sophisticated, with a range of business models to choose from, utilities recognise that easy-to-deploy, simple-to-manage, resilient, robust and cost-effective connectivity is an essential ingredient for their ‘smart’ plans.
Operating in one of the driest regions of the world, water utilities in Australia face unique challenges. Along with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 6, to protect water resources, the global LoRa Alliance® is putting sustained effort into Australia and New Zealand to help water utilities access best-in-class solutions through a large ecosystem encompassing Solution Providers, Systems Integrators, Device Manufacturers and Operators.
Many local companies have started to deploy solutions. These include NNNCo in Australia who has been contrac-ted by the Council for City of Gold Coast to deliver a LoRaWAN network that underpins a variety of Smart City use cases. This includes 12,000 smart water meters that have been forecast for deployment over the next few years, which will also open up opportunities for third party applications to use the existing network.
Traditional options such as hardwired connections, cellular networks, RF Mesh or satellite connectivity have limi-tations, including the complexity of the deployment, a lack of interoperability and the challenge of reaching remote areas or deep indoors due to high installation and/or maintenance costs.
In this paper, we explain why LoRaWAN® is the ideal connectivity choice for water utilities.
As a leader of the LoRa Alliance, I foresee exciting opportunities in the water utility sector in Australia and New Zealand. The LoRa Alliance is committed to supporting the efforts of NNNCo and other LoRaWAN partners in the region to ensure that LoRaWAN solutions are widely embraced.
Derek Wallace, Vice President of Marketing, LoRa Alliance®