Published: 15th May 2018
Thanks to this IoT start-up, you can measure water usage in real time, reduce wastage
In a bid to make people more aware of water wastage, SmarterHomes allows customers to check their consumption statistics on their phone
The average Indian household, living in an apartment with a family of four, consumes about 1,000 litres of water per day. But according to the World Health Organization, the prescribed water consumption is 150 litres per person per day, which should be 600 litres per day for four people. That's an excess of at least 400 litres! Most families waste roughly 35-40 per cent of water every day — whether it is because of accidental leaks or utter negligence, there are many ways we waste water. But it is never too late to become conscious of one's usage.
To help people do the right thing, SmarterHomes Technologies, an IoT company from Bengaluru has designed a smart water meter that can measure water usage in real time. "SmarterHomes’ core product, WaterOn, is a smart water meter that is capable of reading individual consumption and offers readings to the consumer in real time. It also helps prevent water wastage by detecting leaks and shutting off the water supply remotely. The detailed consumption information will help the consumer alter their behaviour to bring in savings," said Vivek Shukla, CEO and Founder, SmarterHomes.
Smart water usage: WaterOn smart water meter measures water usage in real time
WaterOn, which is specifically designed for high-rise buildings, has two benefits — one, it allows each individual household to keep track of its water usage and thus, helps reduce wastage, and two, it beats the standard practice of collecting a common rate from all houses as water bill, regardless of their usage.
"Most of us do not realise that unlike electricity, which is metered, there are no alternative sources of water. In the history of mankind's evolution, no new water source has ever been found. SmarterHomes is a response to a real-world problem — the lack of water metering in apartment buildings," added Vivek.
-Founders: Vivek Shukla and Kasturi Rangan
-Funded by: Macquarie Bank, London
-Founded in 2014
How is WaterOn installed? How does it work?
WaterOn water meters come in variants for different applications. For high-rise buildings, the most cost-effective and easy solution is a hybrid variant of wired meters and a wireless communication hub called Nuclious TM. "The meters are IS4064 Class C, OIML and MID certified, offering unprecedented accuracy and long life even in Indian water conditions. The meters connect to each other with special purpose cables, which not only manage the data transmission but also power the devices for real-time operations. The meters also have long battery life and electronic storage of consumption counts. It can store approximately 45 days of consumption records in its local storage," said Vivek.
Meters count each house's consumption and at the end of it, send the data to the cloud server through Nuclious. The Nuclious and meters are powered by a solar power pack, making them completely isolated from building resources. The platform, in turn, manages the data for billing purposes. Data from the water meter can be monitored through the SmarterHomes mobile app. The comprehensive dashboard allows the customers to check their supply and consumption statistics, their averages, lowest and highest consumptions and also compare with others.
No wastage: Smart water meters are installed at each water inlet in an apartment
Meters are installed at each water inlet in an apartment. Once installed, there’s no need to take readings. WaterOn has sensors and it generates real-time data that allows consumers to take decisive actions such as shutting off the water supply in the event of a leak. "We also have WiFi and GSM-based meters for individual homeowners, allowing them to measure the water consumption in real-time and also prevent damages to their property due to a leak," explained Vivek, adding that the product has been received well in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.
"Over the last two years, we have got great response from apartment communities. We have been successful in changing the mindset of prospective consumers by educating them about the benefits, impact and the need for water metering. So far, we have installed about 6,000 meters across all three cities," he said.
WaterOn is offered at an upfront purchase price of `7,499 (without valve) and `9,499 (with valve). They have also recently launched metering as a service where a customer can easily avail all the benefits of the smart meter by just paying a base setup fee and monthly service fee. The service fee starts from `45 per month and goes up to `120, based on the desired features.