Frequent periods of drought and water rationing, coupled with the frightening rise in energy prices, are creating considerable hardship for families and businesses. In Italy, the consumption of drinking water, over 150m3/year per person, is one of the highest in Europe and the world. Water that is also consumed in large quantities in agriculture and in some production sectors such as the metal sector. Acism – the association that represents measuring instrument manufacturers in Italy within Anima Confindustria - believes that promoting the culture of measurement is a fundamental component in reducing consumption and avoiding harmful waste, while also making users more aware of the value of the resources they are using. Without knowing what and how much is consumed, it is not possible to actually understand where losses occur, whether there is waste and how to intervene to solve it.
Pnrr funds represent an unmissable opportunity to be able to restructure the Italian water system, much of which dates back to the post-war period if not earlier, by increasing the efficiency of water and gas networks through a process of "unbundling", thus enabling everyone to better manage these precious resources and save money. The installation of a smart water meter makes it possible, among other things, to monitor users' consumption habits, changes in water pressure, detect any leaks, and minimise the costs of managing the water network with the help of a mobile phone app.
"Our association," says Pietro Cerami, president of Acism, "as part of its mission to transmit the culture of metering, has promoted a standard that regulates the additional functions of water smart meters on a national level, a project born in collaboration with Anie-Csi. To date, metering is regulated by the European MID directive, but all additional functions such as communication, provided for in the smart meter, in the water sector, unlike the electricity and gas sectors, are not yet regulated in Italy. For this reason, the project presented by Acism at the UNI CT 027 GL 03 "smart meters and smart grids", aims to finally arrive at defining shared rules for smart meters, leading to interoperability between them, with numerous advantages for operators, manufacturers and consumers".
The proposal stems from shared needs and a project that has involved, before formally bringing the initiative to UNI, other stakeholders in the sector such as Arera, Utilitalia, and end consumers, to understand the needs of all and arrive at a proposal that is representative of all, given that the water resource is a common good that it is in everyone's interest to safeguard.