Nico Pretorius, chief executive of Bridgiot, next to a drain where the smart water meter device is installed. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA

Cape Town - Education MEC Debbie Schäfer visited the Hector Pieterson High School in Kraaifontein where the smart water meter device, developed by Stellenbosch University’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, was installed.

Since the device was installed at the school earlier this year it has managed to save 38 000 litres of water. “I think this is very exciting. It’s wonderful to see such practical initiatives being developed in our everyday life. It’s hugely important for us to save water, especially in a crisis,” Schäfer said.

She also pleaded with other schools to look into additional methods to assist in saving water. “For those who can afford this device my plea is that they please look into this and please be receptive of saving water at their schools.”

Retail giant Shoprite has also come on board to endorse the device and has decided to distribute it to over 100 schools in the Western Cape. “We are pleased with the results we have seen we then decided to invest in not only the device but the maintenance component which comes with the device,” Lunga Schoeman, assistant CSI manager at The Shoprite Group, said.

The Cape Argus previously reported on the university’s smart water meter invention. The project is headed by Professor Thinus Booysen. It enables the use of smart metering technology to limit water usage and minimise expenses.

The small device is attached to a municipal water meter and then reports into a web server using a smartphone.

The information is made available on a web app and provides daily reports and notifications regarding consumption. According to Schoeman, the group targeted the top 100 schools identified as water wasters. “That is where they will be able to save and in doing so we will be able to save around 1 million litres a day in the province if we get this right,” Schoeman said.

Schoeman is also calling for competitors and stakeholders to come on board to support them in installing the device. 

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Cape Argus