A series of vast reservoirs in New York State’s Catskills region help provide fresh drinking water to New York City’s 8.5 million inhabitants.[^1] Trouble is, not all of the water completes the journey through the network of aqueducts. In one section, near Newburgh, New York, an estimated 15 million to 35 million gallons of water escape through the cracks every day.[^2]
In response, civil engineers have been deploying thousands of specialized sensors to help spot the precise location of these leaks. And sensors like this are now in strong demand across the globe. “One of the best practices in small cities is to deploy sensors throughout the whole of the water supply chain,” says Matthew Bailey, a member of the Smart City Advisory Council. These sensors play multiple roles. They can gauge how water is being delivered to each household, flow rates from various reservoirs and other sources, and gauge the health of the entire water infrastructure. “That helps ensure we’re delivering high quality water to consumers,” says Bailey.