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Case Study: A Foundational Network for Water Utility AMI and Smart City Projects

Submitted by Connie Heath on August 17, 2021

Case Study: A Foundational Network for Water Utility AMI and Smart City Projects

Learn how the Western Municipal Water District is laying the groundwork for Smart City solutions in Riverside, California, with a LoRaWAN AMI network from Senet. Download case study.

Winning Solution to Outdated Infrastructure

With water systems built during previous generations reaching or exceeding the end of their useful life, the renewal and replacement of aging water and wastewater infrastructure is the top challenge facing water utilities in the United States. This single critical issue has topped the American Water Works Association (AWWA) State of the Water Industry Report for the last nine years.

Through a combination of advanced metering and Low Power Wide Area Network technologies such as LoRaWAN, however, utilities can now confidently and cost-effectively address the replacement of critical infrastructure that has been delayed or managed with a piecemeal approach for years. For water metering (which requires a relatively low data payload and seldom requires low latency), LoRaWAN offers the range, propagation characteristics, extended battery life, ease of deployment, and cost profile utilities need.

 Beyond Advanced Metering Infrastructure

 Beyond addressing their AMI requirements, utilities are finding that LoRaWAN networks are also ideal for operating multiple water management and operational applications such as:

  • Leak detection,
  • Enhanced water flow monitoring,
  • Improved billing and
  • Conservation initiatives

 One utility embracing this path to modernization and sustainability in Western Municipal Water District in Riverside County, California. Western began its LoRaWAN AMI deployment in October 2020 and is on track to install over 30,000 meters this year. Reported benefits include:

  • Elimination of 3rd Party meter reading contract
  • Reduction in water loss from 12% to less than 3.5%
  • The ability to provide customers with “leak alerts”
  • Reduced Carbon footprint by eliminating drive-by meter reading
  • Improved employee morale by delivering better customer service and dispute resolution
  • Improved employee health during the COVID-19 period with automated meter reading

Reap the Benefits

LoRaWAN networks designed by Senet for AMI are among the most capable. They are high-density, built with large capacity, and secure. Gateway capacity depends on several factors, but even with conservative modeling, a single LoRaWAN gateway can support several hundreds of thousands of meter endpoints, representing a small fraction of the total network capacity.

 A significant benefit of Western’s AMI solution is the open architecture attribute that LoRaWAN provides, and the availability of IoT applications and devices that can communicate data across the same AMI network. The City of Riverside and other surrounding communities that Western serves is now positioned to reap the benefits of this communication infrastructure as they identify other LoRaWAN device applications that may support an improvement in operational efficiencies, sustainability and enhance the quality of life in their communities.

Join our Mission to Use IoT for The Greater Good

Only with the right vision, plans, and resources in place, will Smart City programs reach their full potential. Therefore, we invite cities and business leaders in public services and infrastructure (utilities, transportation, and safety) to join our mission. Support economic development, improve safety, and optimize service delivery to citizens by utilizing innovative connectivity platforms, applications, and processes to use IoT for the greater good. For more information, visit

Download our case study to learn how the Western Municipal Water District is laying the groundwork for Smart City solutions in the city of Riverside, California. Download case study.