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The rollout of smart water meters across the city has the potential to save millions of litres of wasted water each year, according to Orange City Council. 

Council began investigating the use of smart water meters during the drought in 2019 with the aim of better understanding water usage and water loss across the city, in addition to finding ways to encourage more water efficiency. 

The system has been up and running since the end of 2020. 

A smart water meter records a property’s water usage and sends the information electronically to Council and the registered consumer via email or SMS.

It can also detect leaks, alert occupants to periods of unusually high water consumption and provide them with insights into their water use. 

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the introduction of smart water meters was an important part of tackling water loss in the city. “Water loss accounts for 10 per cent of our city’s water consumption, that’s millions of litres of wasted water each year,” he said. 

Council staff approached the top 250 water users in Orange to take part in a test period. They are mostly commercial and industrial properties, which make up 20 per cent of the city’s total water use. A small number of residential properties were also included. 

“The city’s water storage got down to almost 21 per cent during the recent drought, imagine the difference this wasted water could have made to our supplies at the time,” Cr Kidd said. 

“It’s a good reminder that we have to make every drop count and using smart water meters to keep track of our water usage is a simple but important step in limiting water loss.” 

Following the successful test period, Council has continued to integrate smart water meters into the network through water installations in new buildings, and through its water meter replacement program. 

Once a smart meter is installed, the property owner can register to access information about their water usage online through the Orange City Council MyH20 website

Orange City Council Infrastructure Policy Committee Chair Jeff Whitton said this online portal was an important tool to educate and involve residents in water efficiency efforts. 

“It enables property owners to monitor and manage their water consumption with the most up-to-date information available,” Cr Whitton said. 

“Here they can see information about their daily water usage and compare it to the city average or other similar properties, as well as accessing helpful tips on how to save water and reduce their water bill. 

“They can set alerts to be notified if the system detects a water leak or unusually high water usage and sign up to weekly or monthly consumption reports.” 

Property owners who receive a smart water meter on their property will receive a letter from Council informing them of the installation, with instructions on how to access the MyH20 website and register their property to start receiving water usage insights. 

This article was published in the Central Western Daily