Water is one of the most precious commodities on this planet. It is needed to sustain life and is a basic requirement of every human being. With the changing climate, some areas are being flooded, while some areas are facing drought. And in this situation, conserving water is a top priority. And we can do that easily with a little bit of tech.
Whether it be the water bill or the electricity bill, most of us are in for a rude awakening at the end of the month after the bill amount has exceeded all our expectations. But what if, instead of getting a bill at the end of the month, we get daily or real-time water usage details? That will make us more aware of what all activities are associated with increased water usage and help us reduce our overall water consumption.
And this is what we did!
The story begins with a client of ours – one of the largest manufacturers of water meters. Their water meters worked with the Hall Effect and was capable of giving highly accurate readings. To make it convenient for their customers, they wanted to make it smart, to make the meters connected, and make the users more aware of their daily water usage and motivate them to reduce their overall water usage.
Another common issue was water loss by leakages and theft. They were often unnoticed for a long time and caused wastage and unnecessary expenditure for the users. They needed an effective solution to these problems. There was also the issue of bill payment. Usually, a manual inspection of the water meter is done every month to calculate the water usage and a bill is issued. But with a smart water meter, this step could be simplified to a great extent.
The solution: a custom IoT app
We studied every aspect of the problem, from all the different angles, how these water meters worked, how we can detect theft or leakage. Following agile methodologies, we involved all the stakeholders and came up with a custom IoT enabled water meter and web and mobile apps, within the expected time and with the resources we had planned for.
The app was designed for a community or a building getting their water from multiple sources – local water supply, groundwater etc. The water meters for the households of that community will be part of a network. The app will show the water usage statistics for the household and is capable of generating a bill.
Key features of the app are
- Accurate billing with detection of theft
- Notifying consumers about their usage. Thereby, helping to reduce overall water consumption
- Real-time monitoring
- Mobile app for water usage and bill payments
- Integrated system of smart meters, communication networks, and data management system.
- Generate Consumer bill Receipt
- APIs for third party community management systems
With this, the water suppliers, as well as their customers, can monitor their water usage. Smart water meters replaced the manual measurements and simplified the whole process. With precise measurements and smooth payments, the entire operation could be now done while relaxing in a chair.
As the main user of these apps will be members of a household or a community of diverse demographics with differing levels of technical know-how, the user interface and the user experience was a crucial part of the app. The app was made with the least tech-savvy user in mind. With a clean and intuitive user interface, it was easy for anyone to get information from the app and interact with it.
The app also motivated users to conserve water and reduce their usage. The app gives real-time readings of water usage to every household. In case of any leak, alerts are sent to the apps.
The app is a real testament to how we can improve water conservation in a community, and make their lives easier at the same time through technology.