Frost & Sullivan recently participated in SWAN Americas Alliance 21st Webinar “From Concerns to Clarity: Unpacking the LATAM Smart Metering Experience”, featuring Latin American industry experts Sandra Elizabeth Rodríguez Ramírez, Information Technology Manager at Junta Municipal de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado de Celaya, José Teixeira, Key Account Manager at BuntPlanet (Siemens), Idel Montalvo Arango, Founder of IngeniousWare, and Frost & Sullivan’s Julieta Paez, Research Analyst at the Sustainability & Circular Economy practice area. The event was held in Spanish and moderated by Daniel Mediano Guillén, Head of Product & Technology at Aganova.

At Frost & Sullivan, we believe digitalization and sustainability trends will be crucial to deliver efficiency across all industries, especially in the water market. Smart water metering ensures a reduction of economic costs and environmental impact, enhancing water distribution networks for optimized operations, with lower percentages of leaks, non-revenue water, and disruptions. This will be key in tackling the stringent water stress that characterizes some areas of the Latin American region, caused by both inefficiency and overexploitation of water sources.

Listed below are the top six takeaways from the SWAN Americas Alliance webinar, explored through Frost & Sullivan’s proprietary 6P Framework for the Future of Sustainability & Circular Economy – A Pathway to Net Zero.


The proliferation of policies that promote sustainable development influences the adoption of smart water meters in the region, aiming for the transformation of the water network in response to the negative impact of climate change and water stress. Both national and subnational entities plan to adopt international standards, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 6, as their own, promoting universal access to potable water and sanitation services. One pertinent example is the case of the Brazilian Plano Nacional de Saneamento Básico (PLANSAB), which targets the lack of access to drinking water and sanitation services.


The smart water metering market has been subject to multiple technological advances that have revamped meters and improved their prospects in optimizing network operations. On the one hand, investment has been focused on hardware developments that aim to better the connection between meters and servers, taking advantage of technologies such as Low Power Wide Area Networks. On the other hand, developments in data analytics and software leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize predictions, monitoring, and event detection, enhancing access and reliability of data. All in all, automated meter reading (AMR) is expected to be displaced by advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), taking advantage of recent developments.


The adoption of smart water meters entails significant benefits for utilities and individuals alike, rooted in the optimization of processes related to water distribution and billing. Reducing a company’s reliance on manual work (and its associated costs) can signify important advances in transparency and data accessibility through the automatization and standardization of billing, reporting, and analysis. Moreover, trustworthy and up-to-date data enables the identification of patterns of usage according to the location and characteristics of each establishment, whether residential or commercial, and the design of optimization and efficiency strategies.


Utilities have developed corporate strategies and standards that target both costs and the environmental impact of their operations, aligned with regional policies. Reducing their impact is crucial not only to avoid any sanctions stated by governmental policies but also to avoid associated reputational and economic costs. Leveraging reliable data will be vital to optimizing the water distribution network, favouring both utilities and individuals, the former benefitting from the elimination of leaks and the reduction of non-revenue water, and the latter from fair billing and customized engagement.


Collaboration between entities of diverse sizes and industries will be pivotal for the development of the market, combining capabilities to tackle obstacles such as lack of investment and scarce specialized workers. Smart-metering-as-a-service emerges as an important alternative for water utilities, leveraging partnerships with software and telecommunication companies to reduce costs and work demands, avoiding risky investments by outsourcing and capitalizing on developments such as Long Range Wide Area Networks and Narrowband Internet of Things. Apart from this type of collaboration, public-private partnerships are also especially relevant to compensate for the instability that characterizes the economy of some regional governments.


Platforms that collect and analyse data are key for visualization and decision support, given they provide transparency and universal access to the information gathered by meters. By displaying the state of the water network in a visualization platform, utilities can keep track of their optimization efforts and adapt their strategies to the obstacles and challenges they encounter on a day-to-day basis that would otherwise go undetected. Furthermore, the use of customer engagement platforms that enable customers to monitor and improve their water usage will support the conscious use of water and conservation policies.

Frost & Sullivan is grateful for the invitation to participate and thanks SWAN and the other panel members for a vibrant and insightful discussion. We look forward to continuing to develop our expertise in smart water metering and the state of the water market in Latin America. Check out the recording of SWAN Americas Alliance 21st Webinar and get in touch to explore Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Generator on the global smart water metering market.


About Frost & Sullivan:

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About Julieta Paez

Julieta Paez works as a Research Analyst in the Sustainability and Circular Economy practice area. She has a background in International Relations and is currently researching carbon markets and climate technologies, including technology and nature-based solutions.

Julieta Paez

Julieta Paez works as a Research Analyst in the Sustainability and Circular Economy practice area. She has a background in International Relations and is currently researching carbon markets and climate technologies, including technology and nature-based solutions.

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