Qualcomm Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions, Inc., AT&T, CH2M and Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (Gwinnett County) in Georgia are collaborating to reduce the amount of drinking water lost on its way to customers. This will be one of the first projects using power-efficient modems from Qualcomm Technologies to monitor non-revenue water usage – or water that has been treated and “lost” through the conveyance system before it reaches the customer whether through leaks, theft or meter errors.
Gwinnett County operates at a low level of water loss, while across the nation, high levels of non-revenue water reflects a significant impact on the financial standing of water utilities leading to the waste of water and energy resources. In addition, identifying water leaks on a customer’s property can provide them with information needed to take corrective action resulting in lower monthly water bills, which is of great interest to Gwinnett County.
This will be AT&T’s largest pilot of its type using new ultrasonic meters connected to AT&T’s LTE network. During the pilot study, meters will be installed and the data analyzed with the goal of identifying opportunities to reduce the cost of water delivery and distribution, improve management of water resources, improve system operations, and save money for customers. The pilot study will use Qualcomm Technologies’ modems in solutions such as smart water meters to produce data to be used in the development of software algorithms. While this project is set for a pilot area, it can be expanded to the entire Gwinnett County water distribution system, helping to reduce water loss and deliver savings in energy and cost.
“Helping to intelligently connect water infrastructure is an example of how Qualcomm Technologies’ connectivity solutions supports the development of advanced applications and services for the Industrial IoT segment,” said Michael Wallace, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “According to the International Water Association, non-revenue water accounts for up to twenty-five percent of the water supply globally, and our teams have been working to develop solutions that can improve and extend the life of our water infrastructure leveraging LTE and 3G. Together with AT&T and CH2M, our goal is to bring world class solutions to help reduce water loss for a large water utility partner, Gwinnett County.”
“Gwinnett County has tracked the impact of non-revenue water for many years and is at the forefront of implementing new technology solutions to better manage their system,” said Ken Thompson, deputy director, CH2M Intelligent Water Solutions. “Using cellular technologies is an innovative approach to managing non-revenue water, which has traditionally been managed through pipeline leak detection programs. Demonstrating new technologies to get real-time data in Gwinnett County’s water distribution system will provide an innovative approach for utilities worldwide to significantly reduce water loss and achieve economic and environmental benefits.”
“A key component of our smart cities initiatives is to use Internet of Things solutions to help cities better manage their water operations by protecting their supply and preventing waste,” said Mike Zeto, general manager, AT&T Smart Cities. “We’re thrilled to be working with Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions and CH2M as we help Gwinnett County test this new technology that may be key to solving a critical need for the water industry.”