RALEIGH, N.C. (December 4, 2012) - Smart water networks can save utilities across the globe up to $12.5 billion a year according to research commissioned by Sensus, a leading provider of intelligent solutions for electric, gas and water utilities. The findings, published in a white paper titled Water 20/20: Bringing Smart Water Networks Into Focus, provide insight from more than 180 utilities worldwide.

The report shows that system performance improvements in areas such as leakage and pressure management, network operations, and water quality monitoring, coupled with informed decision making about the allocation of capital expenditures, can stimulate dramatic savings when driven by the real-time data that a smart water network provides.

A smart water network is an integrated set of products, solutions and systems that enables utilities to remotely and continuously monitor and diagnose problems, prioritize and manage maintenance issues, and use data to optimize all aspects of water distribution network performance.

The report and extensive interviews with utilities worldwide found that, collectively, leaked water alone costs them an estimated $9.6 billion each year. By preventing leaks and enhancing the effectiveness of both water quality monitoring and system maintenance, smart water networks can help utilities recoup those losses and more.

“Water utilities are under pressure from growing demand, aging water systems and increasing energy prices,” said Peter Mainz, CEO and President of Sensus. “Smart water networks can ease that pressure and save utilities worldwide billions of dollars each year. These savings mean more than 5 percent of utilities’ budgets could be reinvested to improve water networks and help address the global water scarcity crisis.”

Within the next decade, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population, or 4.6 billion people, will experience water stressed conditions that occur when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. Water scarcity, coupled with the link between gross domestic product (GDP) and the availability of drinking water, has prompted Sensus to call for water industry collaboration to successfully implement smart water networks worldwide.

“The savings and environmental and societal benefits we’ve identified are only possible if we start working together,” said Mainz. “‘Business as usual’ means more of the usual losses – of both water and money. If we act now to implement smart water networks, we will preserve this vital resource for future generations.”

The Water 20/20 white paper is available here.