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Greater water optimisation as GCC countries push smart water metering programmes

Throughout the recent months of 2018 we’ve been seeing a general trend of respective GCC nations accelerating their smart water metering plans as part of their ongoing efforts to improve water security and achieve more sustainable management of available water resources. The Middle East is already regularly cited as a hugely promising market for smart water metering thanks to its combination of expanding infrastructure, political willingness to invest in advanced technologies and a pressing need to conserve supplies since many GCC countries are still among the most “water-stressed” in the world.

As 2018 progresses, plenty of tangible evidence of progress can be seen regarding the various smart water metering installation programmes in place across the region. This is consistent with the global trend of rapidly rising installation numbers since worldwide smart water meter installations are expected to shoot up from only 13.8 million units in 2017 to a massive 82.1 million units by 2026. The speed and decisiveness of this commitment to smart metering of water supplies is of particular importance in the Middle East, where the intelligent use and conservation of resources is the new focus for the region’s whole utilities industry.

As we can see from the string of new announcements and smart water meter installations, the Middle East – led by efforts in the GCC – is committed to thinking smarter about the future of its water supplies.

Key announcements and progression milestones in 2018

January 2018 – UAE: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced its goal to install 1.2 million smart water meters across the emirate by 2020. Smart metering is an essential pillar of Dubai’s ambitions to become the world’s smartest and happiest city. DEWA also announced its budget of $7.2 billion for smart technology investments.

January 2018 – Bahrain: Smart water and power meter installations under the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) reached 53,000, while the authority announced that no further mechanical meters would be installed. The EWA has since embarked on an initiative to replace all existing mechanical meters with smart ones.

August 2018 – Saudi Arabia: Almost half the required smart water meters mandated by the government in the National Transformation Program 2020 have been installed – 878,729 of the two million plus required under the scheme.

A rapid shift in resource allocation and smarter approach

GCC governments and utilities authorities are continuing to demonstrate a solid commitment to making the shift from an outdated estimation of their people’s utility needs towards accurate and efficient smart metering. With urban expansion rates at their peak, it’s no longer just about providing reliable access to water and energy grids; there’s now a much stronger emphasis on pushing technology-based smart utilities programmes and initiatives that will yield tangible sustainability improvements. Given their proven ability to accurately track and measure water usage – as well as offering other useful features like leak detection – smart water meters continue to be a critical tool in achieving this goal.


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