India is experiencing rapid growth andexpansion of its cities. Indian cities contribute 2/3rd of theeconomy, are major recipients of Foreign Direct Investments and originators ofinnovation and technology. Indian cities are projected to grow in populationfrom 282 million to 590 million people as a result of migration of people fromrural areas to cities in search of economic opportunities (Worldbank, 2011).
Meeting the needsof the growing urban population will require strategic policy making at thenational, regional and state levels. The rapid pace of urbanization would posea challenge for cities in terms of provision of essential infrastructure suchas housing, water and sanitation and urban transport which would involve heavycapital investments. The need of the hour is to have well-managed cities whichoffer high quality of services to its citizens.
In pursuance of the goal of improving thequality of life for people in cities, the Government of India launched theSmart Cities Mission 1.1. Background1.1.1 What is a smart city?The smart cities missionwas launched in 2015 under the aegis of the Ministry of Urban Development. Themission envisioned the development of 100 smart cities with a focus on makingthem citizen friendly and sustainable. The objective of the mission is todevelop cities with core infrastructure that provides a decent quality of lifeto citizens, clean and sustainable environment and application of smartsolutions which is an essential character of a smart city.
However, thedefinition of a smart city varies from place to place depending on the willingnessto change and resources and aspirations of the city residents. The coreinfrastructure elements that are described refer to the following;1) Adequate water supply 2) Assured electricity supply3) Sanitation, including solidwaste management4) Efficient urban mobility andpublic transport5) Affordable housing, especiallyfor the poor6) Robust it connectivity anddigitalization7) Good governance, especiallye-governance and citizen participation8) Sustainable environment9) Safety and security ofcitizens, particularly women, children and the elderly10) Health and education1.1.2 Smart Solutions ‘Smart’ Solutions refer to the usage ofinformation technology and data to improve infrastructure and services with anaim to improve the quality of life, provide employment opportunities for alland encourage inclusive development of cities (Sumpena, 2016). Smart solutions have been provided in different areas of developmentsuch as urban mobility, waste management, water management, energy managementand E-governance. Figure 1 Smart SolutionsSmart solutions in the energy and watermanagement sectors propose the usage of smart grids to promote efficiency inthe provision of water and electric supply.
1.1.3 Smart Water GridAsmart grid is a concept which promotes the integration of information andcommunication technology in the management of water distribution networks.Sensors, digital controls and analytical tools are utilised to automate,monitor and control the transmission and distribution of water to efficientlydeliver good quality water to the consumer. Digitization and automation enableremote collection of data and transmission to a central system for analysis andmonitoring.
The large pools of data collected enable predictive analysis andefficiency in operations and management (Public Utilities Board Singapore, 2016).Thesolution was described by Sensus (2012a) as consisting of five layers. Thefirst layer is a set of measurement and sensing devices (electromagnetic andacoustic). They collect data and help identify any abnormalities in the system.
The second layer consists of communication channels which continuously gatherinformation from the first layer and transmit them over wireless networks. Oncethe data is collected, it has to be presented in a manner that is legible andarticulate. The data is presented in form of spreadsheets, piecharts, mappingand other visualization tools. The fourth layer is the real time data analysisand modelling software, the purpose of these is to extract information from thecollected data such as detecting consumption patterns, discerning between falsealarms and genuine concerns. All these strategies will help the utility to actefficiently to any future scenarios. The last layer is the water networksolution, which ties with the second layer of communication channels andincludes automation and control tools.
It enables the utility to remotely measureand mange devices in the network. (Martyusheva, 2014).TheSmart Water Grid provides the following benefits to the Utility1) Real time Monitoring of Assets for preventative maintenance.
Withadvanced sensing technologies data on assets conditions can be used to preparea replacement and rehabilitation schedule in order to replace the right pipe atthe right time. 2) Real time monitoring of pressure and water quality – Data from sensorsand meters can enable detection of leaks in the network, monitoring of waterquality conditions and alerts when there is a risk of water contamination.Automated valve operations enable shutting off of valves in case of flooding,water loss and spreading of contaminated water.
3) Real time information on consumption patterns with respect to watercan encourage consumers to adopt water conservation measures. It enables theconsumers to make informed choices regarding water conservation measures intheir homes and utilities to predict the water demand and the quantity of waterto be treated and pumped.(Public Utilities Board Singapore, 2016)1.
1.4 What is a smart meter?Animportant part of a Smart Water Grid are smart meters. Smart Meters areelectronic devices which record the consumption of electricity, water or gas inintervals of an hour or less and enable two way communication between theconsumer and the utility. The smart meter has been proposed to replace theaccumulation meter to get more accurate readings through more efficient methodsof water flow detection. It could help consumers monitor theirconsumption and understand how they can save resources efficiently. The metersinteract with the consumer through smart phone applications, website or in-homedisplay units which shows the consumer their consumption in real time. Thefeedback on consumption received by the consumer can promote conservationbehaviour through proper implementation of design principles.
SmartMetering refers to both Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced meteringInfrastructure (AMI). AMR refers to the automated collection of meter readingsthrough radio transmission which prevents the need for physical inspection (Blom, Cox, & Raczka, 2010). AutomatedMeter Reading (AMR) – This is a method of collecting meter readings through radiotransmitted signals. This method is considered to be faster than the conventionalmethod of meter reading. Using the technology utility reader can drive byresidences to collect the water consumption readings. The meter can detect ifthe water is being used continuously which is an indicator of a leak in thesystem.
It has the capability to notify the consumer and prevent high bills forthe end user (Martyusheva, 2014).AdvancedMetering Infrastructure (AMI) – Theadvantages for the consumer and the utility are as follows.Advantagesfor the utility Iteliminates the need for monthly manual readings of meters. Enables the utilityto propose dynamic pricing based on demand. Due to the reduction in demandbrought about by the pricing mechanisms and increased awareness of the consumertowards water consumption provided by feedbacks, the need for capitalinvestment is deferred. As smart meterscapture the consumption data accurately they contribute to an increase inrevenue for the utilities particularly the ones which are facing a largepercentage of non-revenue water.
Advantagesfor the ConsumerItenables the consumer to receive detailed data on their consumption throughinterfaces such as smart phone applications, websites or in-home displaydevices. This feedback on consumption enables the consumer to adopt waterconservation measures and reduce their consumption thereby resulting in savingsfor the consumer. 1.1.
5 Current scenario of smart metering in IndiaIndianWater utilities are plagued with issues such as water theft and high percentageof non-revenue water. India’s average non-revenue water rate is around 34%which is significantly higher than the global average of 28%. To address theseproblems, Indian utilities have adopted Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).Two authorities that are trialling AMI are Bangalore Water Supply and SewerageBoard (BWSSB) and Kerala Water Utility (KWA). Theutilities are using IBM’s Big Data and Predictive Analytics Technology tomanage distribution networks to meet the increasing water demand in the face ofwater scarcity. In Bengaluru, the population growth from 5.
4 million to 10million has put tremendous pressure on the city’s water distribution. This hasbeen the driving factor behind BWSSB’s move to partner with IBM for anoperational dashboard to monitor, administer and manage its water distributionnetworks. Despitethis, the development of smart city projects has been progressing at a slowrate and large scale roll-out of smart water meters is not expected until the2020’s.
1In India, pilot projects for smart electric grids have been initiated in manycities but so far none have looked into smart water metering. InBangalore where there is an acute water shortage, many apartment complexes areturning to smart water meters to reduce their dependency on tanker suppledwater which has seen prices soar in the past few years. 1.1.6 International Experiences of Smart Meter Roll outsCasestudy of Smart meter Roll-outs – As the deployment of smart water meters havebeen few, the case study of smart meter roll-outs will also include thedeployment of smart electric meters which have been more widely adopted thansmart water meters.Sweden– Sweden was one of the first countries to have a large scale roll-out of smartelectric meters.
In 2003, Swedish legislation required that accurate monthlyinvoices based on actual meter reading be generated for all consumers. Thislegislation sought to address the prevalent dissatisfaction among residential consumersregarding inaccurate invoices, data inaccuracies in switching and longsettlement periods which meant that consumers received long invoices which madeit difficult for them to pay. A survey found that the three energy supplierswere more unpopular than the tax office and customs. Legislation sought to address customer dissatisfaction withoutspecifically mentioning smart meter roll-out. As a result the unbundled networkcompanies involved in the roll-out focused only on complying with thelegislation and not on the capabilities of the smart meters for demand –response, dynamic pricing, frequent feedback to consumersAs a result the meters deployed are not capable of supporting energyefficiency programs and do not capture the data required for effective pricingand feedback.
After the meter deployment, the consumer has two options of gettingmonthly or hourly readings without any extra charge. Although theimplementation has increased awareness of electricity consumption, it has nothad the impact desired as consumers do not know which appliance consumes themost electricity and what they can do to reduce consumption. The positive aspect of implementation wasthat consumers became aware of exactly what they were paying and to whom (Dromacque,Xu, & Baynes, 2013). Australia – In the face of rising demand for electricity, the Victorian Departmentof Environment and Primary Industries decided in 2007 to have a large scaleroll-out of smart meters with Time of use Pricing to shave peak demand. Howeverthe roll-out would not be accompanied by in-home display units. Following thedecision, customers complained of inflated electricity bills without a means totrack and manage their consumption which was the very purpose of the roll-out. 1.
1.7 Why is end user acceptance important?• One of the critical success factors in any ITimplementation is user acceptance of information technology systems. Suchprojects involve expensive infrastructure that is paid for, whether directly orindirectly, by consumers, and hence it is important to achieve consumerconfidence. There have been multiple instances of major consumer pushbackagainst smart meters, for example in Victoria, California and Ontario.
This hasresulted in project-sponsors battling to convince consumers of the potentialbenefits and this may continue for years. • A technology will not be welcomed by the end user ifit is not useful for them, even if it could contribute to solving major issueslike lowering carbon emissions and climate change (Yesudas & Clarke, 2015). Although end users are central players inthese systems, they are sometimes not central considerations in technology orprogram design, and in some cases, their motivations for participating in suchsystems are not fully appreciated. Behavioral science can be instrumental inengaging end-users and maximizing the impact of smart technologies Sintov et.al (2015)• In this context, the voluntary adoption of smart watermeters in Bangalore becomes highly crucial as it throws light on the factorsthat influence the adoption of smart metering which can hold valuablelessons for the future implementation of smart meters in the city. 1.2. Problem Statement Smart Metering inIndia: A study assessing the factors affecting technology adoption of smartmetering by stakeholders and the challenges associated with implementation.
ReferencesBlom, A.,Cox, P., & Raczka, K. (2010). Developing a Policy Position on Smart WaterMetering, (1).Martyusheva,O. (2014). Smart Water Grid, 1–80.
PublicUtilities Board Singapore. (2016). Managing the water distribution networkwith a Smart Water Grid (Vol.
1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40713-016-0004-4Sumpena,A. (2016).
What is Smart City?Yesudas,R., & Clarke, R. (2015). Measures to Improve Public Acceptance of SmartMetering System, (August).1 https://www.metering.com/features/smart-water-india-utilities-strive-to-curb-non-revenues/