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Oracle Sees Water as the Next Smart Grid

When you hear the term 'smart grid,' most people think of electricity. But Oracle is thinking that intelligent metering and provisioning systems could apply just as well to other utilities, like water. Datamation has the story on the database giant's latest research.

In light of periodic energy shortages and costs spikes, HP, Google, IBM and a host of other companies have pushed for the broad adoption of smart grid technology to measure usage, spot trends and help control energy costs. Now water may be the next major resource to get the smart grid treatment.

In a recent survey of more than 300 water utility managers conducted by database giant Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), 68 percent said they believe it is critical that water utilities adopt smart meter technologies. At least 36 states are projecting water shortages between now and 2013, according to a statement from Oracle.

Oracle also found most of the 1,200 U.S. consumers it surveyed felt water conservation was important to them. Specifically, 76 percent said they are concerned about the need to conserve water and said their behavior changes were motivated more by a desire to conserve than to reduce water bill costs. Seventy-one percent said having access to more detailed information about their water consumption would be a key factor in helping motivate their conservation.

IT analyst Charles King said he's not surprised Oracle would promote smart meter adoption for the water industry. "Someone on the back end has to crunch all the data, and now that Oracle has Sun it can make the case they have a hardware/software solution. IBM (NYSE: IBM) has been promoting the same thing," King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, told InternetNews.com. "Whether you're talking about electricity or water or some other utility, it's an enormously distributed, complex network of data."

Read the full story at Datamation:
Is Water the Next Critical Smart Grid?