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Why The IoT Will Save Our Natural Resources

09 March 2020 / by Forbes

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Since the 18th century, industrialization and overconsumption have contributed to the rapid depletion of nature's raw materials. Smart connectivity carves a path for us to be more efficient in our use of these materials, effectively reducing the rate at which we are consuming and wasting natural resources.

According to the United Nations' Global Resources Outlook 2019 report, the worldwide use of natural resources has more than tripled in almost 50 years, with nonmetallic minerals witnessing a fivefold increase and fossil fuel use increasing over 45% over the same time frame.

To ensure that future generations have access to these resources and for the long-term survival of our planet, we must focus our efforts on managing the use of resources like water, gas and coal.

The Emerging Role of the IoT

There are many IoT options for preserving natural resources, from tracking the bee population to reducing global carbon remissions, but implementing solutions into existing infrastructure can require a high investment in terms of resources like time and money.

IoT solutions with key capabilities such as long range and low power are more reliable and effective in enabling smart cities, smart enterprises and smart homes to manage resources more efficiently. Their emergence is enabling villages, cities and countries to rapidly and cost-effectively plan and transform themselves into smart communities that prepare a long-term vision for their people and their associated resources.

Long-range, low-power devices also remove the obstacle of capturing incorrect data and/or inaccurate analytics, as these devices provide data in real time that can assist with decision-making processes that help to conserve both exhaustible and inexhaustible resources. Such decisions might include the shutting down of pipelines due to leaks, the monitoring of excess resource use or simply the alert of a potential loss of valuable resources due to imperfect environmental conditions.

For example, according to a survey conducted by the Energy Information Administration, a large commercial building in the U.S. uses an average of at least 20,000 gallons of water per day, while statistics published by the Environmental Protection Agency show that each American uses approximately 88 gallons of water per day. The concern of water shortage is rising so much that in 2014, the Government Accountability Office noted that 40 out of 50 U.S. states expected water shortages over the next 10 years.

Smart water management systems can provide commercial buildings with status updates on how much water is used by the minute and can help predict where water issues could occur while providing valuable, timely information. For corporations with multiple locations, this approach to managing water can help save millions of gallons of water annually, as well as millions of dollars in overhead operation costs.

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Forbes.com by Semtech President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohan Maheswaran.

Read the full article at the link below.

READ MORE ON FORBES.COM

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Topics: LoRa, Wireless RF, Internet of Things

Written by Forbes

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