Investigating the effectiveness of using smart meters on the water consumption crisis caused by the spread of Corona disease

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The global crisis caused by the spread of the coronavirus has created new management scenarios in various economic and social sectors. In this study, we introduce smart water meters and evaluate their effectiveness in the remote reading process of water consumption by subscribers. We aim to leverage the benefits of information technology solutions in the water industry to reduce or eliminate the risks associated with future crises. Our goal is to examine the role of these smart measurement systems in reducing water consumption and ensuring the provision of services remotely.


Water is the source of life and one of the three main elements of the ecosystem, which has faced a serious crisis of shortage in recent years. The importance of water and sanitary sewage disposal in health and human welfare and their role in development is evident to all (Kalantari, 2013). According to environmental forecasts, by 2050, global water demand is expected to increase by 55%, and more than 40% of the global population will face a severe water shortage crisis (Savic et al., 2014).

 Management and Supervision

Many countries have realized through experience that water and sewage facilities, due to their deep impact on human health and the environment, must be monitored and controlled carefully. Senior managers must be able to supervise and control the production, transmission, distribution, and purification processes at any time and from any location.

 Role of Information Technology

We live in a technology-driven world where information and communication technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable development goals. Water management is one of the areas where ICT plays a key role. This technology helps detect leaks and optimize dynamic systems (Antolli and Abu Mahfouz, 2016). Today, the smart water network is proposed as the next generation of water management projects. This network uses ICT to enhance the effectiveness of all elements of the water network structure (Lee et al., 2015).

 Status of the Water and Sewage Industry in Iran

In Iran, the water and sewage industry has developed in over 1,050 cities with more than 23,000 facilities. The need for a comprehensive managerial perspective in this field is evident. The Ministry of Energy’s indicators for systematic management of water resources and water and sewage facilities by 2025 emphasize the transition from traditional operations to a modern system based on current technology. Points seven and twelve of these indicators are:

1. Utilizing smart systems in the management and operation of distribution networks
2. Planning and optimal use of water resources to reduce risks associated with inaccurate or unrealistic predictions

 Legal Requirements

According to Article 47 of the Energy Consumption Pattern Reform Law of 2008, the Ministries of Energy and Oil are required to determine, announce, and implement the technical guidelines for the design, construction, supply, installation, and operation of smart network infrastructure and measurement and control equipment. For new subscription applicants, only smart meters equipped with smart reading and control systems and up-to-date IT capabilities will be installed. Furthermore, within five years, the existing meters of all subscribers, prioritized by high consumption and including distribution and transmission networks, will be replaced with smart equipment.

 Importance of Smart Metering

Smart metering of water networks has become a vital necessity in the water and sewage industry. This is important for achieving smart city establishment due to rapid industrial growth and the need for infrastructure development. Technical innovations, system dynamism, and adaptability are success factors in water consumption management. Among various smart metering methods, the use of smart water meters stands out as an economic and effective method for updating water networks.


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