Drought Resource Center


Sensus has delivered smart water network solutions to public service providers, including utilities, municipalities and cities, for more than 100 years. We have helped more than 5,000 customers in North America conserve water and improve operations, ultimately supporting the preservation of this precious resource.


How can technology help counter the effects of a drought?

The answer is rooted in data. Smart sensors provide real-time information about the location and severity of leaks in the water distribution system or in homes and businesses. Public service providers, including utilities, municipalities and cities, can monitor water pressure to save energy and improve customer service and temperature to help avoid frozen pipes. Remote monitoring, whether for leaks, pressure or temperature, lessens the need for truck rolls, which reduces carbon emissions. And it all comes together in a smart water network.

What is a smart water network?

Our smart water network combines advanced sensors, software and services with the FlexNet™ communication system to enable water conservation and better management of the public service.

What results can you expect from a smart water network?

Following the implementation of a smart water network, many public service providers immediately discover a daily loss of thousands of gallons of water due to ongoing leaks. One water utility customer discovered a single leak causing 200,000 gallons of water loss each day. In addition to conservation, smart water networks enable a reduction in carbon footprint by eliminating or minimizing the number of times a public service provider needs to send a service truck into the field.

What is the best way to capture and transfer the data?

The first step is to deploy smart sensors, including water meters, to capture low and high flow, find leaks, and measure pressure. Next, deploy the Sensus FlexNet™ communication system, a long-range radio solution that enables a smart water network to collect data from many endpoints and then quickly and securely deliver it to the public service provider. The power of the network ensures data capture reliability at a lower cost of ownership. Because it’s scalable, the network supports multiple applications including leak detection, pressure management, temperature monitoring and metering. Finally, data analytics software helps to organize and display that data to enable decision making that improves operational efficiency and water conservation.

How do public service providers use the data?

Every time a pump starts, a water tank fills or a tap opens, data is captured, distributed and converted into meaningful information for public service providers and their customers. When delivered over the FlexNet™ system, this data can save water, improve operational efficiency and improve customer service.

How do consumers use the data?

Access to information about daily water usage is both helpful and powerful. That’s why many public service providers offer a customer portal where consumers can monitor their water consumption, check for variances (which could mean there is a leak) and get tips on ways to conserve. It can be as simple as knowing when your toilet is leaking the moment it begins so you can immediately save water that might otherwise have leaked for many months.

How can leak detection save money?

Let’s start with the facts: when we asked 180 global providers about resource management, one-third of them said 40 percent of their clean water was lost because of leaks. If they reduced those leaks by just 5 percent, coupled with up to a 10 percent reduction in pipe bursts, they could save up to a collective $4.6 billion annually. Further, by deploying a smart water network, utilities around the world could save up to $12.5 billion a year. You can read more about the results of our study in the white paper, Water 20/20: Bringing Smart Water Networks Into Focus.

How serious is the global drought problem?

According to the United Nations, approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide will be living in areas of absolute water scarcity within the next decade. In addition, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population will face water stressed conditions in the next ten years.