New York City to keep track of water use with wireless monitors

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New York City residents will now be able to track their water use in real time. The city has installed wireless meters in The Bronx (the program will expand in the future), and residents will be able to see how much water they’re using at any given moment. The idea is to encourage people to cut down on their water consumption. “Wow, I used X-Number of gallons of water during that shower, let’s see if I can make that X-Minus-One next time.” And so on.

If you’re not into the whole green movement, then maybe you’d be interested in saving money—an altogether different kind of green movement. The city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, says that the average single family in New York spends around $800 per year on water. So if saving Mother Earth isn’t anywhere on your agenda, then perhaps turning that $800 per year into, say, $750 or $700 per year may be more your style?

While the program will initially launch in The Bronx, the entire city is expected to be fitted with wireless meters by January, 2012.

One possible result of the new system: tiered pricing. If the city knows how much water you use, then it may be able to charge you a different rate than your neighbor. So if you’re a single person who uses only a small amount of water per year you wouldn’t pay as much per unit as someone who uses an incredible amount of water per year.

The Mayor says he doesn’t see why should a move would be illegal, tiered pricing. But that’s sometime in the future, so don’t get too worked up just yet.

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