How “smart” water meters invade privacy

“Smart” water meters are currently being trialled in Tairua on the Coromandel and are being considered by the Waikato District  Council (see links below for details).

The report at this link http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/02/13/how-smart-water-meters-invade-privacy/

outlines how smart water meters can infringe people’s privacy.

 

NB:  If you are interested in the smart meter issue, please sign up to the free email list on www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz  Thank you.

 

 

Tairua smart water meter trial

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/tairua-smart-water-meter-update/

Waikato District Council plans for smart water meters

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/smart-water-meters-2/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/

General smart water meter information in NZ

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/

Waikato District Council vote on water meters and smart water meters

Waikato District Council vote on water meters and smart water meters

In mid-August 2014 I found out that the Waikato District Council was planning to vote on adopting water meters in Huntly, Ngaruwahia and Raglan and that the Council also would also vote on whether to  continue to monitor smart water meters in NZ “with a view to implement when the technology when it becomes cost effective and proven in NZ.”

I subsequently wrote to the Council to inform the Mayor and Councillors about the potential health risks from wireless “smart” water meters, and encouraged other people to write as well.

Please see these links for details:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/letter-sent-to-mayor-and-councillors-of-the-waikato-district-council/

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/some-ideas-to-help-you-write-to-the-mayor-and-councillors-of-waikato-district-council/

 

Unfortunately, the Council voted in favour of the resolution, as you can see from the document below.  Two Councillors did not support the motion. (Click on the image to make it bigger.)

NB: If you live in the Waikato District Council area and are concerned about this issue, please contact me through this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/

 

Waikato District Council decision on water meters

Some ideas to help you write to the Mayor and Councillors of Waikato District Council

URGENT: The Waikato District Council is having an extraordinary meeting on August 19 during which they will decide (among other things) whether to accept a resolution relating to “smart” water meters.  (See this post for details: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/urgent-smart-water-meter-alert-for-waikato-district-council-area/.)

 

If you oppose the introduction of “smart”  water meters to  the area served by Waikato District Council (and/or oppose the introduction of water meters in general, here are some ideas you may like to use when emailing the Mayor and Councillors to express your opposition.

Please share this link and encourage everyone you know to do likewise. Thank you.

 

The email adresses for the Mayor and Councillors are at this link:
http://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/Your-Council/Mayor-and-councillors.aspx

 

A suggested format for the letter will be detailed below.

 

REASONS TO OPPOSE THE INTRODUCTION OF WATER METERS (REGARDLESS OF TYPE)

If you oppose the introduction of water meters in general, you may want to express one or more of the following reasons for your opposition:

* Cost to Council:  You may think that the money spent buying and installing water meters could be better spent by the Council in other areas (please give examples, if you know of a local Council service which has not been funded or is under-funded where the money could be better spent.)

*  Cost to Rate Payers:  You may wish to express concern that spending money on water meters will be reflected in your rates bill, in terms of increased charges for water and/or a general increase in rates to cover the capital expenditure involved in installing water meters.  If any rates increase may adversely affect your personal budget and/or viability of your business (if it is one that uses a lot of water, for example, a cafe or other business that provides toilet facilities for the public) you may wish to discuss this.

*  Public health reasons:  You may wish to express opposition to water meters as this increases the cost of living for everyone and low income families may be adversely affected by having to cut back on water use, and consequently being more at risk of developing impetigo, scabies and other communicable skin conditions as a consequence of being  unable to afford to pay for sufficient water to bathe and to wash clothes, towels, bedding etc. as often as necessary.  (If you work in an early childhood centre or school or other provider of education and care to children which may be adversely affected by changes in families’ water use patterns, you may wish to add this.)

*  Impact on home gardening: Installing water meters and making water expensive may reduce people’s ability to enjoy planting flowers to beautify their neighbourhood and also restricts people’s ability to  grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables, potentially reducing their nutrition and impacting adversely on their general health.

*  Impact on education and community facilities:  If you work in an early childhood centre, school or tertiary education provider that is already on a tight budget how will having to pay extra for water impact on the services that you offer? Will it mean cut-backs in terms of what you can offer chidlren and/or students?  or increased fees?  Or both?

* Other reasons:  You may have other reasons for opposing the introduction of water meters, for example that once water meters are instlled it may be easier for future Councils to privatise the water supply:  Please express these in any email you may write.

 

REASONS TO OPPOSE THE INTRODUCTION OF  “SMART” WATER METERS SPECIFICALLY

* Health reasons:

1) “Smart” water meters use radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range to send information about water use and this radiation is considered a “possible carcinogen” by the International Agency on Cancer. (See: http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review.)

2)  People who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation may suffer from increased symptoms if “smart” water  meters are introduced given that these meters produce RFR.  For more information about how people who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and the challenges they face, please see these links:

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/what-is-it-like-to-live-with-electrohypersensitivity-ehs-one-womans-story/

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/electrohypersensitivity-a-short-film-by-time-magazine-free-to-watch-online/

http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/retired-ceo-speaks-out-on-electrosensitivity/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/87308119/Guideline-of-the-Austrian-Medical-Association-for-the-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-EMF-related-health-problems-and-illnesses-EMF-syndrome

NB:  There is no information on how many people are affected in NZ because NZ does not keep statistics.  However, in Sweden where good statistics are kept, three percent of the adult population is known to be affected by sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation, also variously known as EHS, ES or EMS.  As you will see from the links above, life is very difficult for people who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation and they certainly do not deserve to be further burdened with extra EMR from “smart” water meters when analogue meters are available, if the Council wants to introduce water meters.

 

* Potential adverse impacts on wildlife: 

The US Department of the Interior has cited substantial research that shows RFR has an adverse effect on wildlife and that current US standards (which, like the comparable National Standard in NZ are designed to protect ONLY against thermal injuries and shocks) provide in inadequate protection for wildlife. (Please see this link for details: http://www.takebackyourpower.net/news/2014/03/27/us-department-of-interior-attacks-fccs-exposure-standards-out-of-date-and-inapplicable/

If the Waikato District Council plans to link up “smart” water meters with WEL Network Ltd’s “smart boxes” there will likely be an increase in the use of 900 MHz frequencies that have been cited by the US Dept of the Interior as harming birds.

 

GENERAL ADVICE FOR WRITING AN EMAIL

1)  Start with your name and address

(If you are not in the Waikato District Council but are writing, for example,  because you are concerned about friends or family in the area, or because you are a health professional with an interest in public health issues or you or your environmental group are concerned about adverse effects on wildlife, etc. please specify, this when you introduce yourself at the beginning of the email.)

 

Suggested format for rest of email:

 

 

Dear Sirs/Madams, [if you are writing the same email to everyone]

I am a resident of [your town] OR I am writing on behalf of [your business/community organisation]

I am writing to ask you to vote against any proposal to introduce water meters and/or smart water meters because

[List your reasons]

[Add any other comments you may want to make;  bearing in mind that short emails are more likely to be read than long emails.]

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

 

Yours sincerely/ Naku noa, na,

 

[Your name]

[Your organisation, if writing on behalf of an organisation]

 

URGENT: Smart water meter alert for Waikato District Council area

September 25, 2014: An update on this issue is at this link:  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/

 

URGENT: The Waikato District Council is having an extraordinary meeting on August 19 during which they will decide (among other things) whether to accept a resolution relating to “smart” water meters.

 

The wording of the relevant portion of the item on the agenda is “that the Council continue to monitor the progression of smart water metering technology with a view to implement the technol0gy when it becomes cost effective and proven in NZ.”*

 

Given that there has already been a trial of “smart” water meters in Tauranga (see this link:http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-water-meters-in-nz-the-situation-so-far/

and a trial is ongoing in Tairua (see this link:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/tairua-smart-water-meter-update/    ) it may not be long before the Council may consider that the technology is proven for NZ – and the Council may consider it cost effective, given that “smart” water meters can potentially be integrated with the so-called “smart boxes” (actually  Landis+Gyr smart meters) being installed by Waikato  lines company WEL Networks Ltd.

(Please see this link http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-way-to-facilitate-smart-water-metering/ for how “smart” water meters may be integrated with “smart boxes”.

The Council will also be discussing whether to pass a resolution regarding the installation of water meters in Ngaruwahia, Huntly and Raglan.

Water meters of any type are controversial because they usually result in an increase in the amount of money home and businesses end up paying to their Council each year.

Charging for water potentially has public health impacts, especially for low income families who may have to cut back on water use and consequently be more vulnerable health problems associated with poorer hygiene such as impetigo, scabies and other communicable conditions that can be spread via towels, clothing and bedding that are not washed sufficiently regularly.

 

If you would like to do something to help:

 

* Please email the mayor and Councillors stating your opposition to “smart” water meters

You can find their emails here  http://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/Your-Council/Mayor-and-councillors.aspx and I will be posting template letters to make this easy to do later; please check back at this site later.

 

*  Please alert all your friends and family in the Waikato region to this issue by sharing this post.

 

Please tell all friends and family in the Waikato region that it is NOT compulsory to have a WEL smart box installed and to refuse its installation.  Without WEL smart box installations to collect the data from “smart” water meters, it may not be economically feasible to install “smart” water meters.  (Please see this link for information on  WEL smart boxes and how they are NOT compulsory:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/shame-on-you-wel-networks-ltd/

Also please see this link on potential health impacts of the WEL Networks Ltd “smart box”:  http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/government-and-electricity-industry-positions/is-the-wel-smart-box-a-health-hazard/

(If this link is not working when you click on it, please copy and paste it into your browser. Thank you.)

 

*You can read the full text of the agenda of the meeting at the link below.

 

http://www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/CMSFiles/cc/cc56a109-0520-4526-b8ce-8b844c31a43d.pdf

 

An update on this issue is at this link:  www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/uncategorized/waikato-district-council-vote-on-water-meters-and-smart-water-meters/