A quick guide on using water meters


We examine the advantages of opting for water metering, the types of water meters, etc.

Water metering is an intelligent way to understand water usage in a household or an apartment society. Given the social, economic and environmental impact of water scarcity, it is best to start conserving the things that people usually take for granted, water being on top of that list. A research by Livpure suggests that about 50% of freshwater is wasted in the country, owing to inefficient water management practices and leakages. Checking the wastage of water and our own pattern of water usage, is the easiest way to conserve water. Here, we look at what you gain when you go in for water metering, types of water metering, etc.

 

What is a water meter?

A water meter is a device that is used to track water usage. It helps, not just in monitoring consumption but also to save money incurred on electricity used to pump the water and also energy consumption for functioning of sewage treatment plants.

 

A quick guide on using water meters

 

See also: Water conservation: Ways in which citizens and housing societies can save water

 

Benefits of using water meters

Incentive to conserve water: Using a water meter acts as an incentive for you to conserve water. It is the first step towards discipline and monitoring your water use pattern.

Volumetric pricing: Why pay more for water use when you aren’t using it? If you install water meters, you will pay only as much as you use.

Detect water wastage: It is important to monitor water wastage through leakages, dripping taps or any other reason. Some of you may be using water in moderation but end up paying (or wasting) more owing to structural defects in the source of water at home or at the distribution level. Water meters will help you analyse and take action against such problems.

Estimating subsidies: Authorities often subsidise water charges for those who cannot afford to pay for it. However, it is important to check water wastage in such scenarios, especially because the state authorities often have to bear a huge cut in their revenue when they offer subsidies. Water metering is an efficient way to understand usage and set targets when rolling out subsidies.

 

Similarly, individual home owners and apartment societies can also estimate water consumption in their building and flats.

Regular supply: If water consumption is checked and reasons related to wastage identified and corrected, housing societies will be better equipped to ensure that the water supply is adequate and equitably distributed to all households. Water supply in unoccupied flats can be temporarily cut, as well.

Lower energy consumption: Directly or indirectly, you are misusing energy when you waste water. Water metering ensures that you minimise energy consumption, when you use only as much water as you need.

 

Water meters for households

Water meters up to 50 mm are called ‘domestic’ water meters and are used for households. On the contrary, ‘bulk’ water meters are for commercial or industrial use, as per Indian standards.

See also: Water harvesting: The best way to end water shortages

 

Quality of household water meters in 2020

Every year, the Fluid Control Research Institute, India (FCRI) publishes a Model Approval Program which has a list of qualified water meters. The latest list is as follows:

 

Meter descriptionSize 
Kranti Ultra-G

Multijet

Class B

15 mm
Kranti KBM-G+

Multijet

Class B

15 mm
Kranti Ultra-G Copper can

Multijet

Class B

15 mm
Itron

Multimag

Cyble TM II.

(Q3: 1.6 m3

/h, R50,

PN16, ∆p63)

15 mm
Zenner – ZR100,

Multijet Inferential,

Class B

15 mm
Kranti

Multijet Inferential,

Class B

15 mm
Watertech

Multijet Inferential,

Class B

15 mm
Dasmesh Multijet

Magnetic Inferential,

Class B, Copper Can

15 mm
Dasmesh

Multijet Magnetic

Inferential, Class B,

Plastic Can

15 mm
Konarak

Multijet, Class B

15 mm
Itron

Multimag Cyble TMII,

Q3:1.6m3/hr, R50,

T30,∆P 63

15 mm
Itron

Nevos – Volumetric

Rotary Piston Type

(Brass body)

15 mm
GLOBALm

GB15, Multijet, Class B

15 mm
Itron

Multimag Cyble TMII,

Q3:1.6m3/hr, R100,

T30,∆P 63

15 mm
Baylan

TK-23 with Plastic top

& Rotating dial

15 mm
Baylan

TK-23

15 mm
Itron

Multimag

Cyble TM II

Q3:2.5m3/hr, R50,

PN16, ∆P 63, T30

20 mm
Itron

Multimag

Cyble TM II

Q3:2.5m3/hr, R100,

PN16, ∆P 63, T30

20 mm
Maddalena –

DSSD

Q3:4 m3/hr, R160,

PN16, ∆P 63, T50

20 mm
Kamstrup

ultrasonic water

meters Model flow IQ

2101 Q3:4 m3/hr,

R250, PN16, ∆P 63,

T50

20 mm
Watertech

Multijet Inferential,

Class B

20 mm
Konarak

Multijet, Class B

20 mm
Arad

Dialog3G-IN Multijet,

Class B

20 mm
Arad

Dialog3G-IN Multijet,

Class B

25 mm
Baylan

TK-3C

25 mm
Itron

Multimag Cyble

Multijet, Class B

25 mm
Konarak

Multijet, Class B

25 mm
Maddalena –

DS TRP

Q3:16 m3/hr, R100,

PN16, ∆P 63, T50

40 mm
Kamstrup

Ultrasonic type

flowIQ 3100,

Q3:16m3/h,

R160, T50

40 mm
Itron

Multimag Cyble

Multijet, Class B

40 mm
Baylan

TK-5C

40 mm
Kamstrup

Ultrasonic type

flowIQ 3100,

Q3:25m3/h, R160, T50

50 mm

 

Some frequently asked questions on water meters

What are the different types of water meters?

Usually, residential premises and small commercial buildings use what is called, Positive Displacement or PD meters. There are other types – velocity water meters that measure the flow velocity through an internal capacity. Compound water meters are usually used for high flow rates and electromagnetic meters use the water’s electromagnetic property, to determine the flow velocity.

 

What is the lifespan of a water meter?

Depending on the design, field connection and other determinants, on an average it has been seen that water meters usually function well over five to seven years after it is installed.

 

What is the cost of water meters?

The cost of water meters can vary from Rs 500 to Rs 8,000 per piece, depending on the quality and other factors. The cost of installation is separate.

 

Which class of water meter is used in India?

Usually there are four classes of water meters, Class A, B, C and D. In the table given above, you can see that Class A and B water meters are widely used in India.

 

How does FCRI verify the quality of water meters?

A usual test takes around two months. Even during the initial verification, FCRI checks for accuracy at various flow rates, pressure, tightness, as well as loss tests, etc. Durability is also checked through the process.

 

Are there any disadvantages of using water meters?

While the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, there are still some points you must consider. For example, water meters can surely detect leakages but the detection is delayed. Also, if one goes in for equitable distribution of water, some households may suffer more than others. In some other cases, a housing society may be said to be wasting water, when it may actually be caused by a few households only. Water meters are also not as important for someone who does not utilise a lot of water or has an unoccupied property.

 

What is Automated Meter Reading?

Automated Meter Reading or AMR is uncommon in India. Elsewhere, these are electronic outputs that can be passed on to far away locations through wired or wireless technologies.

 

Is flow of air registered in water meters?

Yes, the flow of air will be registered in water meters.

 

In a housing or apartment society, who reads and maintains the water meters?

In housing/apartment societies, the public provider, for example, the Delhi Jal Board in Delhi, reads and maintains these water meters. In the case of an apartment, the owner maintains the meter. You can also install a meter privately, known as sub-metering to track the usage of water.

 

What are smart water meters?

Smart water meters are much more efficient than regular ones. The power consumption is lower, battery preservation is efficient, water billing is dynamic and in short, conservation or consumption inefficiencies are better identified.

 

Smart cities’ impact on smart water meters

London-based research company Technavio estimates that the smart water meter market may grow by USD 3.94 billion between 2020 and 2024, at a CAGR of 11%. While the geography was restricted to APAC, Europe, MEA, North America and South America, the report also notes, “The development of smart cities will create new growth opportunities for smart water meter vendors. For instance, under the Smart Cities Mission of the Government of India, smart water meters are proposed to be installed in the households of smart cities. Such developments undertaken by governments of various countries, will boost the demand for smart water meters during the forthcoming years.”

See also: Bengaluru’s ‘Rain Man’: Why Rainwater Harvesting is the future of water conservation

 

FAQs

Is it worth getting a water meter?

Unless you have an unoccupied property, water meters are definitely worth the buy. It helps you keep a check on your water usage while also saving you some money.

What are some of the main reasons for water wastage?

In general, people tend to waste a lot of water during brushing, bathing, washing, etc. Leakages also add to the problem. The National Commission for Irrigated Water Resource Development of India says that the water crisis in India is not due to lack of it but due to inefficient conservation and management problems.

Which are the Indian cities undergoing a water crisis?

About 100 million people in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad may be affected due to groundwater depletion by 2020, forecasts a report by the NITI Aayog.

 

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