With the severe water shortage that is currently plaguing the Western Cape, innovative solutions are in greater demand than ever before. During the second Stellenbosch Forum lecture of 2017, Dr MJ (Thinus) Booysen, Associate Professor at the Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department at SU, discussed two devices that he has helped develop to tackle the problem: Geasy and the Smart Water Meter.
The Stellenbosch Forum Lecture took place on Thursday (9 March) at Stellenbosch University, where Booysen spoke on "Connected through water and energy in the internet of things."
"We are experiencing a serious water shortage in the greater Cape Town area – and until very recently also in other parts of the country," said Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor at SU, in his introductory address to the lecture. "Wouldn't it be great if technology could provide some solutions? But somebody has to do the research first and then convert that not only into technology but also something with commercial potential. That is exactly what our speaker will be touching on today."
Consumers can install the Smart Water Meter to gain detailed information on how much water they are using every day, whilst 'Geasy', an intelligent geyser management system, provides full control of your geyser via any internet-connected device and saves electricity through optimised scheduling.
Booysen demonstrated the power of showing consumers how much water they are using when they leave the tap running. In one case study, a coffee shop reduced its water consumption by 67% after seeing one week's worth of data on their water usage.
"It's not just about information that you can analyse later, it can also immediately affect your behaviour," Booysen said.
The Smart Water Meter is being sold for R850, which can be used alone or alongside Geasy.