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Smart meters to help people manage their budget and improve access to water services for the poorest

For many city-dwellers living on the edge, the issue of the cost of access to water is a challenge they have to deal with daily. Many people have irregular incomes and paying a monthly water bill is hard. Veolia has teamed up with CityTaps, a startup with a unique solution that bundles a smart meter with a prepayment system. Customers can then use their mobile phone to pay for water in advance, choosing an amount to suit their ability to pay: 1 cubic meter, 2, 10 or more. This means saying goodbye to the risk of being unable to pay the monthly water bill. The solution empowers households who now find it easier to manage their budgets and the mobile phone technology means it can be rolled out simply and very widely, particularly in Africa. The service has been trialed with utility water company customers in Niamey, Niger.

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