Household smart water metering in Spain: Insights from the experience of remote meter reading in alicante

Hug March, Álvaro Francisco Morote, Antonio Manuel Rico, David Saurí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 by the authors. Since the past few years, the smart city paradigm has been influencing sustainable urban water resources management. Smart metering schemes for end users have become an important strategy for water utilities to have an in-depth and fine-grained knowledge about urban water use. Beyond reducing certain labor costs, such as those related to manual meter reading, such detailed and continuous flow of information is said to enhance network efficiency and improve water planning by having more detailed demand patterns and forecasts. Research focusing on those initiatives has been very prolific in countries such as Australia. However, less academic attention has been paid to the development of smart metering in other geographies. This paper focuses on smart water metering in Spain and, more particularly, documents and reflects on the experience of the city of Alicante (southeastern Spain), a pioneer case of massive deployment of remote reading of water meters at the household level and for large urban customers. Through data and interviews with water managers from the water utility, we shed light on the costs and early benefits, as well as the potentialities and (unexpected) problems of this technology to contribute to more sustainable urban water cycles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number582
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2017


  • ICT
  • Remote meter reading
  • Smart meters
  • South Europe
  • Water demand-side management
  • Water utility


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