As Sacramento Enforces Water Restrictions, Smart Meters Are Key


Those following headlines about water services are likely all too familiar with the city of Sacramento.

The Californian capital has had more than its fair share of water issues, from dealing with the state’s water scarcity problems to a recent lawsuit charging hexavalent chromium contamination in local water supplies.

And the city is now in the news for some aggressive conservation rules brought about to combat the persistent water scarcity, even if residents aren’t technically living in a “drought” anymore.

“Now, when there’s not a shortage, residents are restricted to watering lawns three days a week during the summer,” reported the editorial board of The Sacramento Bee. “Under code changes approved by the City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee … the limit would be two days a week, March through October. Also, the initial fine — starting with a second violation within 12 months — would be doubled from $25 to $50.”

However, if Sacramento’s residents are willing to voluntarily adopt key conservation measures, including the installation of smart meters, these fines can be avoided.

“Any penalties could be waived if a customer accepts a house call from a city conservation specialist, or if customers sign up for city incentives to remove grass, upgrade irrigation systems or install a smart meter,” per The Sacramento Bee. “To encourage conservation, the proposal also says the watering restrictions would not apply to customers who have smart meters or irrigate with recycled water.”

Smart meters are a critical tool for water conservation. They can reduce leaks, limit outdoor watering, identify inefficiencies, and track conservation efforts.

“The ability to identify not just the volume of water consumption but also the timing of that consumption has significant benefits, particularly to customers, and may be a linchpin for enhanced water conservation efforts,” wrote Dr. Lon W. House of Water and Energy Consulting. “This is particularly an issue for California.”

It may be that the state, and its capital city, have found a smart solution to at least some of their water woes.

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