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Future-Proof the City: Smart Water Meters Reduce Non-Revenue Water in Pune, India

Pune, the second largest city of the state Maharashtra in India1, is a bustling cultural center and key driver of economic growth for the region. The city has a growing industrial and technology base, spanning information technology, engineering and automotive companies, along with rapid geographic and demographic growth that is causing a spike in the demand for water.2 In order to future-proof the city from a potential water crisis, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) launched the ambitious 24x7 Water Project.3 

The main objective of this initiative is to provide safe, equitable water supply to all citizens with robust water distribution 24 hours a day.

To achieve this goal, PMC focused on lowering non-revenue water, also known as treated water that is lost before it reaches users because of leaking infrastructure, broken meters or unauthorized use.

Across India, urban water distribution networks experience water losses that cause as many as 99.9 percent of Indian cities to have an intermittent supply with sometimes only a few hours of water availability every few days. Reducing these losses to acceptable levels would help create a continuous supply.4

In comparison to nearby Mumbai, 24 percent of the total water supply there is not tracked by devices and the amount of unmetered water supply is higher than the national average of 15 percent, according to a recent report from the Maharashtra government to the state Legislative Assembly.5 PMC decided to adopt smart water meters to better gauge water consumption, investing in more than 275,000 Sensus iPERL™ meters to monitor, measure and manage activity across its network – the first-ever deployment of smart water meters in India.

iper-international-sensus.jpgiPERL™ meters are next-generation, high-performance, solid-state smart water meters with an integrated communications capability that reduces non-revenue water by allowing intelligent data to be shared at 15-minute intervals, which improves accuracy in identifying customer-side leaks. The wealth of data also helps water utilities manage distribution networks more efficiently to conserve water, provide more accurate billing to customers and inform them about leaks, fraud or unusual usage patterns.

The meters are being installed over a three-year period and aim to reduce non-revenue water by half during this time. By leveraging this innovation solution PMC will also enhance water productivity for customers by providing them with usage monitoring reports to enable more accurate billing, identify abnormalities in consumer water services and allow them to adjust their water habits to save water and money.

V. G. Kulkarni, Chief Engineer, Pune Municipal Corporation, said, “We are extremely proud to be the first Indian city to deploy cutting-edge smart water meters. This is just the first step on our journey towards making Pune a more sustainable and self-sufficient city committed to conserving water. We are confident that Sensus is the right partner to ensure we achieve these goals.” 

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[1] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-10-largest-cities-in-india.html

[2] https://www.pmc.gov.in/en/municipal-bond-program

[3] http://vilindia.com/water/water-epc/pcmc-project/

[4] https://iwa-network.org/two-decades-water-loss-progress-leakage-levels-still-high/  

[5] https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/24-per-cent-mumbai-water-supply-not-tracked-higher-than-national-average-1956548