Safaricom Smart meters are helping to track water on the internet

Ever got your water bill at the end of the month and you couldn’t believe how and when you spent that much money on water? Well, it looks like Safaricom has a solution to that with their new Smart Meter and Narrow Band technology.

This robust IoT monitoring platform makes it possible to track real time consumption of water.

Safaricom Smart Meters

On a bright morning in October 2019, teams of technicians fanned out to 20 locations across Embu County to meter various consumers of one of Kenya’s most successful water utilities, Embu Water and Sanitation Company (EWASCO).

The technicians had in hand a set of field network management tools to measure data access performance metrics such as connection data rate and latency on Safaricom’s newly introduced Narrow-Band (NB-IOT) network.

How it works

Fast forward to 2020 and a team was set out to Embu County to meter various consumers of one of Kenya’s most successful water utilities.

The main objective of the trial project is to relay real-time data using Safaricom’s Narrow Band IoT network. They set up 20 devices linked to the Microsoft Azure Cloud with real-time mapping and analytics. All powered by Esri Eastern Africa’s ArcGIS Platform.

Benefits of the Smart Meter

The smart meters can actually help:

  1. Denote changes in household water consumption
  2. Enhance the response of Kenya’s water sector to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  3. Reduce manual meter reading
  4. Real-time billing
  5. Identification of faults and leaks
  6. Reduction in water loss

Technology to the rescue

For Safaricom and Upepo, the trial with EWASCO has provided proof that IoT can work, and there are numerous benefits for the companies that lose revenue when the water does not reach consumers and the millions of people who cannot access clean water, especially during a time like we are in now.

Using the insights generated by this model, Safaricom and Upepo hope to stem the significant revenue losses from NRW, and also provide real-time monitoring and decision-making tools for African utility companies to manage, renovate and expand their infrastructure to ensure the continued expansion of water access and reliability in the continents rapidly urbanising cities and towns.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of a robust IoT monitoring platform makes it possible to track real-time consumption of water being provided to hospitals, clinics and other health facilities to ensure that these institutions have adequate supply during this critical period.

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