Smart water meter roll-out

A smartwater meter,piloted by a Wallacedene school, will be rolled out to 170 more schools, which the provincial education department says could save 10 million litres of water day.

Dropula, a smart water meter – designed by Bridgiot in partnership with Stellenbosch University and launched at Hector Peterson High School – is helping to save water and money by identifying wastage and leaks(“System makes every dop count”, Northern News, November 15).

Shoprite has offered to cover the cost of installing and maintaining the meters in 100 schools in the drought-parched province, and a campaign on CapeTalk has called for others to get involved.

Now the Western Cape Education Department says it wants to expand the number of Dropula schools from 100 to 270.

“We have put in place an agreement with Bridgiot and Shoprite to drive a campaign to encourage the private sector and any other donors to contribute to installing the meters on a 60/40 basis,”saidWCED spokeswoman Jessica Shelver.

“In terms of the agreement, the WCED will provide funds to schools to cover 40% oftheinstallation and operating costs if donors contribute 60% to the costs.”

Ms Shelver said the WCED aimed to add a further 170 schools to the 100 already supported by Shoprite.

“We are therefore calling for more pledges from other businesses to help save water at our schools.”

The department plans to install the system before the December holidays.

“Bridgiot will be responsible for providing meters and a water consumption management service to participating schools. They will work with schools to deal with problems as they have done at Hector Peterson high school,” Ms Shelver said.

Ultimately,the departmentwanted smart metering at all schools in the province, she said.

The system has helped Hector Peterson cut water consumption from 47 000 litres a day to 9 000 litres, a daily saving of 38 000 litres.

“The 270 schools could save up to 10 million litres a day if they achieve the kinds of savings achieved so far by Hector Peterson High,” Ms Shelver said.

“This will not only relieve pressure on our water supply but will also help to reduce the costs of schools for municipal services. This is an excellent example of the private sector rising to the challenge of a crisis and working with all parties on a solution.”