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Envision Charlotte's Smart Water Now Program
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Envision Charlotte's Smart Water Now Program  
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 CH2M Hill, Envision Charlotte, Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), Siemens and Verizon (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), today announced that Envision Charlotte -- a unique public-private initiative that leverages sustainability for economic growth as a model for all communities -- is launching its second model program, Smart Water Nowsm. Smart Water Nowsm is a water measurement and efficiency program that will follow the first-of-its-kind Smart Energy Now® program already underway.

Envision Charlotte and the City of Charlotte are collaborating with leading solution providers to design and install the system. CH2M Hill is managing the entire project; Itron is providing water communication modules, the network infrastructure, cloud services and data aggregation; and Verizon will gather the water usage data from a network of machine-to-machine (M2M) devices and transport near real-time information to kiosks utilizing its 4G LTE network. Siemens is providing project support.

Building occupants can track the city’s progress on interactive kiosks, smart phones and web sites along with existing energy information. The design has been established, the downtown surveys have begun and Envision Charlotte expects to have its new program in place in the fall of 2012.

“These solution providers are demonstrating innovation and leadership by providing their expertise, technology and services to help us create models for communities anywhere in the world,” said Tom Shircliff, Chairman, Envision Charlotte. “The teamwork between our partners is unparalleled.”

Like its sister program for energy, Smart Water Nowsm will aggregate information into a single number representing the total uptown usage, then drive awareness and behavior change to reduce consumption. The results will lower operational costs, improve sustainability, engage occupants and contribute to the overall value proposition of working and living in Center City. “Our Center City offers one of the most compelling cases in the country for attracting business and talent and this Envision Charlotte program adds another significant facet,” said Michael Smith, Chairman and CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners.

The City of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department (CMUD) support Envision Charlotte’s vision and play a foundational role in the initiative. “Envision Charlotte is creating a model for communities and demonstrating the link between sustainability and growth,” said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who pushed for the initiative’s creation. “I applaud the leadership and innovation from our utility and the solution partners with whom they are working. Charlotte is the first city in the world to endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint of its central business district and together we are working to make Center City Charlotte the most environmentally sustainable center city on the planet.”

CH2M Hill is managing the entire project. “CH2M HILL is excited to be part of this collaborative partnership to help Charlotte and its citizens become a sustainable city of the future,” said Brian Casey, CH2MHILL Vice President and Smart Water Nowsm Program Manager. “Our world is increasingly interconnected and we believe sustainability is about identifying and solving interrelated challenges with an integrated approach. With our roots in the water industry and a strong commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work, we are pleased to bring our experts, our thought leadership and our experience in managing the dynamic water-energy-carbon nexus to this effort to create social, economic and environmental value. We applaud Envision Charlotte for their leadership in sustainability.”

Itron is providing water communication modules, the network infrastructure, cloud services and data aggregation. “Itron is pleased to participate in this innovative program. Working collaboratively—cities, utilities, governments, private sector businesses and technology partners—we can transform the way the energy and water is consumed and managed,” said Mark deVere-White, senior vice president, of Itron North America. “As smart city initiatives, like Charlotte’s, continue to expand, the convergence of energy and water data under a unified, common platform will simplify this transformation and help shape a sustainable future.”

Verizon will gather the water usage data from a network of machine-to-machine (M2M) devices and transport near real-time information to kiosks utilizing its 4G LTE network. “The Envision Charlotte project is yet another case of using 4G LTE technology to benefit the public in a secure and reliable way,’’ said Mike Brander, vice president for Verizon’s global energy and utilities practice. “Through machine-to-machine technology, this endeavor helps change behavior and lifestyles while helping shape energy efficiency. Using 4G LTE technology is a catalyst, and Verizon is parlaying our business expertise in conjunction with Envision Charlotte to impact how we live.’’

Siemens is providing project support. “Siemens is pleased to collaborate with all the partners associated with this forward-thinking and innovative project,” said Dave Hopping, vice president and Business Unit Lead for Siemens Building Technologies Division. “Since the National League of Cities forum last September we have increasingly realized the need to use Catawba River water resources more efficiently. The Water Pillar goals perfectly align with Siemens expertise in helping building owners reduce energy and water consumption. Helping to create the Smart Water Now™ network is the logical first step and provides a laboratory for an innovative solution.”

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