Utilities Digital Solutions Mexico

Mexico’s smart water metering roll-out plan

Monday, 4 March 2024

To help “redefine water measurement in Mexico and beyond”, one million smart meters are being rolled out across the country.

Redefining water measure in Mexico

Municipalities in Mexico facing key challenges, including water scarcity and losses, could benefit from a smart water meter rollout. The development is part of an alliance between WaterMeter Corp, WND Mexico and UnaBiz to help “redefine water measurement in Mexico and beyond”.

The rollout of one million smart meters in Mexico is planned to be completed over a 10-year period.

With several Mexican states facing water scarcity challenges, it is hoped the development could help enable more efficient monitoring and management of water resources.

WND Mexico is the operator of the OG Network in Mexico; UnaBiz is the owner of Sigfox OG technology, and WaterMeter Corp provides water metering solutions for municipalities in Mexico. 

From left to right: Co-Founder & CEO Henri Bong —UnaBiz, CEO Marco Mendoza — WaterMeter Corp, CEO Daniel Philippe Guevara — WND Mexico

The companies said that the use of Sigfox oG technology will enable them to “read meters remotely cost-effectively predictably, and extremely energy-efficiently”.

Collectively, they said the smart meter rollout is part of a longer-term business vision and goal to modernise the water management system in Mexico, as well promoting “water conservation and ensure the country’s sustainable and efficient use of water resources”.

Earlier this year, Mexico began the much-needed construction of a crucial replacement for the ailing San Antonio de los Buenos wastewater treatment plant.

Benefits of smart water metering

Smart water meter (covering both energy and water) penetration in Latin America is expected to triple from 11.7 million units in 2022 to 38.4 million by 2028, according to a research report from IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.

The research report predicted that Brazil and Mexico will account for over 70 per cent of market shipments. 

Smart water meters help measure and record water usage accurately, with the option of providing water consumption data in real-time. While traditional water meters require manual reading, smart meters automatically provide accurate readings transmitted directly to water utilities for analysis.



The difference between AMR and AMI 

While automated meter reading (AMR) is the technology used by water utilities to collect water consumption data from water meters automatically, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) instead is the integrated system of water meters, networks and data systems that enables communication between meter endpoints and utilities, according to Badger Meter.

For billing purposes, smart water metering allows customers to pay for only the water consumed rather than an estimated amount, so it can allow a fairer and more efficient billing practice.

As well as billing, another benefit is a contribution to reducing overall water consumption - areas with high water usage can be targeted to promote behavioural change.

Non-revenue water (NRW) in Mexico

Six states in Mexico are suffering from water scarcity challenges, including Aguascalientes, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon and Querétaro.

The World Bank estimates that as a global average, 30% of the world’s piped water is lost before it reaches the customer, most of it due to leaks and theft. In developing nations, roughly 45 million cubic metres of water are lost daily, worth over $3 billion per year.

Across Mexico, it’s estimated that between 30-40% of water supply is lost daily due to leaks.