Water meters operating outside their performance specifications can contribute to non-physical water losses as well as to financial losses of a water authority. The aim of this project was to develop and test a computerised system providing a continuum of methods for selecting water meters varying from pure theoretical to semi-empirical and then to a wholly empirical process. The theoretical process relies on water demands derived from local and international design codes and standards in the selection of new water meters for buildings or water management areas. The first estimate for the selection of a water meter can be based on both records of billing data as well as on theoretically determined peak and minimum water demands. Empirically measured water demand profiles can be processed and analysed by OSMS to establish the best match for a particular water meter’s specification. Field trials in South Africa and Brazil were instrumental in identifying additional features that enhanced the development of OSMS, as well as emphasised the usefulness of the software. A literature review and a pilot study indicate a previous trend of installing over-sized meters. Replacement meters that are optimally selected can finance the costs of such investments.

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