Sustainable water management is becoming increasingly essential in an age characterised by rapid population and urban growth, industrial development and climate change. Opportunities to promote conservation and water-use efficiencies remain attractive in directly reducing water demand. Smart water metering and the provision of detailed water-use feedback to consumers present exciting new opportunities for improved urban water management. This paper explores two smart water metering trials in New South Wales, Australia, which provided household water consumption feedback via (i) paper end-use reports and (ii) an online portal. This combination enabled a deeper exploration of the various impacts of detailed feedback enabled via smart water metering. The positive effects uncovered by the research present an important opportunity for smart water metering feedback to contribute towards more sustainable urban water management. Their summary contributes empirical evidence on the impacts for water utilities considering embarking on the smart water metering journey with their customers. The identification of future research and policy needs sets an agenda for smart water metering to promote a sustainable digital urban water future. Larger scale trials are now required and utilities should integrate the design and plans for scalable advanced feedback programs at the outset of smart meter implementations.
- household water consumption
- smart water metering
- sustainable water management
- water efficiency
- water policy
- First received 28 January 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 4 July 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2016