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Locally produced smart meters for managing water crisis

25 March 2020 News

Water scarcity has become one of South Africa’s national crises. The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, released the ‘Water and Sanitation Master Plan’ to tackle this issue in order to preserve water.

The plan states that over 3 million people still do not have access to basic water supply service and only 64% of households have access to a reliable water supply. Moreover, 41% of municipal water does not generate revenue and 35% is lost through leakage. The various emergency plans put in place are great and will definitely help with conserving water in the long run, but in order to deal with the crisis, citizens have to also do their part. As such, these plans should also empower ordinary citizens to be more aware of their water consumption in order to help manage this shared resource.

The big question then is, how do we empower our everyday citizens so that they can help solve the major water crisis South Africa is facing? Lesira-Teq, a proudly South African company based in Pretoria, addresses this issue by giving consumers the power to have visibility and control over their water consumption.

Lesira-Teq is a smart metering company that designs, manufactures and supplies water metering systems. The company has designed and manufactured smart water meters that connect wirelessly to the Internet of Things (IoT). These smart meters transmit their consumption information, which a user can then access through a mobile app on their smartphone.

“It is both a monitoring and management device, placing the power of consumption in the hands of the end user,” says Edwin Sibiya, Lesira-Teq’s chief executive officer. “They can track their water consumption daily or monthly on the Lesira customer smartphone application and make better decisions about how water is used in their household. We’ve been designing and manufacturing smart water meters for over 16 years now, but our recent partnership with Sqwidnet now gives us the ability to put more power in our customer’s hands.”

SqwidNet operates an open-access IoT network that is available nationwide. Its network covers over 90% of South Africa’s population and is exclusively dedicated to IoT. The chief solutions officer of SqwidNet, Ushal Moonsamy, believes that IoT is the true enabler of data-driven decision-making by providing real-time information from assets that could not be connected to the Internet before.

“The partnership with SqwidNet means Lesira-Teq does not have to focus on rolling out their own network and this gives them the opportunity of scaling up their services and focusing on manufacturing,” added Moonsamy. “The technical support from SqwidNet and competitive pricing allows Lesira-Teq to pass on the best value to their customers.”

”The value of a smart meter goes beyond just the consumer,” added Sibiya. “Municipalities can also benefit from smart meters.”

The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan states that to achieve water security, an estimated capital funding gap of around R33 billion per annum for the next 10 years must be closed, through a combination of improved revenue collection and a significant reduction in operating costs. It further reveals that 35% of municipal water revenue is lost through leakages.

Smart meters can solve these problems for municipalities by sending automatic notifications to their field teams as the leak is detected. These smart meters also give municipalities a host of new features to better manage water, just by having near real-time meter readings.

Excited about the possibilities of the future, Lesira-Teq continues to innovate and break boundaries by continuous innovation through research and technology. The company has introduced a new tier of products aimed at solving multiple problems for both consumers and municipalities.

Lesira-Teq prides itself on being the first global, black-owned IoT-enabled smart meter manufacturer and is committed to using 4IR to solve the water crisis faced in South Africa.




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