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World Water Day 2023: Conserving our World’s Most Precious Resource

World Water Day Blog

Climate disruption is becoming more apparent with every passing day, but one impact in particular is hitting global communities the hardest: water. On World Water Day 2023, we’re taking a moment to reflect on this year’s theme, “Accelerating Change,” and the critical role Itron plays in solving the water scarcity and sanitation crisis impacting utilities and communities across the globe.

To better understand the magnitude of this issue, let’s take a look at a few key facts:

By 2023, an estimated three billion people across 48 countries will face water scarcity.

Almost 2/3 of the world’s population experiences severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.

Global water demands are predicted to increase 40% by 2030, resulting in the displacement of nearly 700 million people.

More than 1/3 of water globally is lost in the distribution system before reaching consumers.

An approximate $39 billion per year is lost in non-revenue water globally.

Furthermore, water scarcity and sanitation are increasing problems on every continent, and an integrated and inclusive approach must be taken to manage this finite resource. That’s where Itron’s smart devices and analytics solutions come into play.

More than ever, utilities are challenged with managing their aging water distribution networks. Everything from reducing costs and implementing conservation programs to dealing with unbilled consumption, physical losses and new regulations – all of which impact the ability to effectively serve consumers. Although the factors driving the water crisis are complex and vary widely across countries and regions, we have the deep industry expertise to help cities and utilities better conserve and manage this precious, finite resource.

In celebration of World Water Day 2023, we want to spotlight a few Itron customers who are paving the way for utilities everywhere by driving water conservation efforts forward with Itron solutions:

North Miami Beach: Enabling Real-Time Data and Driving Water Conservation Efforts

The City of North Miami Beach (NMB) provides reliable, high-quality water and sewer collection to more than 175,000 residents while protecting and preserving the environment. For years, NMB Water staff were engaged in labor-intensive activities across the city’s 25-square-mile service territory to complete manual meter readings and leak detection services. To address this, NMB deployed Itron’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution equipped with leak sensor technology and cloud-based analytics with over 33,000 new electronic water meters and 10,000+ leak sensors.

As a result, NMB now receives more accurate meter reads and the instantaneous creation of bills, allowing the utility to transition from a quarterly to a monthly billing system without needing to increase staff. In addition, NMB customers can view individual consumption data via a secure customer web portal, allowing them to easily view their usage to support conservation efforts or plan for upcoming bills. NMB representatives can also quickly pull up consumption data for individual customers and point out when and how much water was used to help identify any anomalies or unusual patterns that could point to a leak. To date, Itron’s AMI platform has enabled NMB to save over 80 million gallons of water and $100,000 from repaired leaks. Learn more about what lies ahead for the City of North Miami Beach as the utility looks to continue improving the delivery of services and expanding conservation efforts.

Provo Water: Recovering from Hurricane Irma and Reducing Non-Revenue Water

Provo Water Company, a utility company in the Turks & Caicos Islands, provides their service territory with a safe and secure supply of drinking water. After Hurricane Irma struck in September 2017, Provo Water used Itron’s AMI solution to more quickly recover water service. After the hurricane, the utility lost nearly three million gallons of water and all access to water cut off to the surrounding community’s schools, homes and airports. With Itron’s AMI solution in place, Provo Water was able to detect the leaks, restore full services and re-pressurize the network. In less than four days after Hurricane Irma, the entire water system was re-pressurized and all customers were online. Provo Water experienced firsthand the benefits of Itron’s smart water solutions with improved operational visibility and efficiency as well as real-time insights after enduring one of North America’s worst hurricanes in the last 50 years. Watch Itron’s segment produced by BBC StoryWorks for the International Water Association, After the Storm, to hear more about the story of Provo Water’s recovery after Hurricane Irma.