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Fresh, clean water is a precious but limited resource. The Bureau of Meteorology reports that Non-Revenue Water loss in Australia in the past five years reached over 870 gigalitres which is 10 percent of water utilities’ system input. Yet, in the 2015-16 year, household water usage increased three percent to 1,899 gigalitres. This means that while we’re using more water than ever, we’re also continuing to waste this highly valuable resource.

As we continue to experience the effects of a drying climate against a growing population and a higher use of water, the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping to conserve, protect, monitor and intelligently manage one of our most precious resources.

Whether it’s leakage prevention with smart water meters or environmental monitoring to keep our oceans clean and estuaries safe from contaminants, water utilities across the country are using IoT technology to better track, monitor and conserve water.

Over the past year, we have been trialing our Digital Water Metering IoT solution with some of the largest water utilities across Australia to identify water leakages and prioritise water-saving measures. For water utilities that want to better engage with their customers and have an obligation to use resources sustainably at all times, this is a critical benefit that demonstrates the power of IoT innovation for the industry. It also significantly improves their bottom line.

Our Digital Water Metering solution drives insights to prevent water wastage and reduce consumption – all which lead to reduced water bills for consumers and operating costs for utility companies.

We are also excited to announce the first CATM1 and NB-IoT certified module on Telstra’s IoT Network. The module is integrated into Telstra’s Captis Environment Monitoring IoT sensor. This IoT sensor is now available to enable our customers to proactively detect leakages, blockages and manage water quality and consumption at scale.

The Telstra IoT Network is one of the largest in the world and we are the only carrier in Australia to offer both Cat M1 and Narrowband IoT technology. Our customers can now connect a range of IoT solutions in more places than ever before on Australia’s largest, most reliable and most secure ready-built LPWA Network.

Specifically, Telstra’s NB IoT coverage now reaches more than 3.5 million square kilometres and is built to support millions of connected devices such as water quality sensors, environment monitors, trackers and alarms. By transmitting at very low data rates with coverage that reaches challenging locations – such as in-building and sub-surface – and battery life measured in years rather than days, NB-IoT makes scaled IoT deployments possible.

This means the Digital Water Metering solution can have a battery life expectation of 12 – 15 years, enabling capabilities such as power saving mode and deep sleep mode. And, with Telstra’s NB-IoT footprint now reaching more than 3.5 million square kilometres, it means that water consumption can be tracked and monitored at greater reach and greater depth. It also means that many of the regional water utilities can tap into water insights in areas that have previously been costly to access.

The opportunities here are endless, and the dividends are massive for providers, consumers and the environment. With IoT powering innovation that brings smarter gains in efficiency and productivity, as well as larger reductions in wastage, we can now do more with water while also using less. And we can do it all better than we ever could before.