It is no secret that California is currently enduring one of the worst droughts in its history. According to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), the three year period between October 2011 and October 2014 was the driest on record. However, even more frightening is the notion that this may only be the beginning.
According to climatologist, Benjamin Cook, “Climate change is going to lead to overall much drier conditions toward the end of the 21st century than anything we’ve seen in probably the last 1,000 years.” While this hardly sounds pleasant, it is also unlikely to result in the dessert wasteland portrayed in the latest Mad Max movie either. (Rest assured that there are no predictions of skull shaped mountain wells in California’s future!)
To combat the water shortage, California officials have turned to innovative M2M technology, particularly smart meters, to better regulate and monitor water usage throughout the state. Unlike traditional water meters, which essentially provide a running tally each month of how much water is used, smart meters can provide an updated total every few minutes. This is particularly helpful in confirming that businesses and individuals are following the recently imposed statewide water restrictions.
The smart meters employed by California’s utilities are, in many ways, similar to the smart electrical meters that a number cities around the country are already using to help prevent blackouts. In both cases, utilities can monitor and control usage in real-time in order to ensure that the systems stay operational.
While the future and climate may be unpredictable, it is evident that smart meters and other M2M technology will continue to provide new tools to combat emerging challenges and improve lives around the globe.