I just received a letter from OV Water Utility informing me that they will be replacing all our inefficient old fashioned water meters with new electronic meters. Transmitters they call “SmartPoints” will wirelessly transmit our water usage statistics to a “secure” computer at the company. Yes, and we all know how secure such systems can be. OV Water claims that reading the meters electronically will “increase labor efficiencies, reduce the wear on our streets, conserve gasoline and help the environment.” Am I the only one that thinks this translates into: reading the meters electronically will result in the layoffs of many meter readers, decrease costs of automobile insurance, gasoline, and vehicle maintenance (and most importantly) result in pay increases and bonuses for OV Water’s top executives… and all this without having to cut rates to its customers in the slightest? I definitely see this move to electronic meter monitoring as corporate progress in action. But I don’t think the meter readers who face layoffs or changes in their job descriptions will be jumping for joy this holiday season. All I know is that over the past 10 years living in Oro Valley with the same 3 people in my household, we’ve seen our monthly water bill rise from about $45/month to $75 to $80/month currently. Now that’s what I euphemistically call “real progress”.
Congratulations OV Water; it’s good to know you have our backs!
Mr. Frank J Alles,