The Smart Islands Project in
Rarotonga - Cook Islands, New Zealand

Milesight Helps to Improve Water Distribution and Leak Detection, Building Automaton, Energy Efficiency, and Indoor Air Quality


  • Milesight Partner: ICTnexus/IQnexus client logo
  • Number of Devices Deployed: 637 unit of sensors
  • Applications: Water Distribution, Leak Detection, Building Automaton, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Air Quality
  • Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand
The Cook Islands, renowned for its stunning coastal areas and lush mountains, has become a popular tourist destination. The tourism sector has played a significant role in the country's economic growth over the past decade. In 2021, the government of this South Pacific nation introduced the SMART Economy Initiative, aiming to further enhance its development.
As part of this initiative, the Smart Islands project was launched, encompassing following key sub-projects:
  • Efficient Water Distribution Management
  • Water Tank Level Monitoring
  • Indoor Air Quality Enhancement through a Closed-loop and Centralized HVAC Systems
raro lora


Implementing innovative projects in the Cook Islands poses several challenges due to its unique location and climate.

  • Poor Network Coverage
    Due to the remote location of the Cook Islands, ensuring reliable cellular and internet communication coverage presents inherent difficulties. Limited connectivity can lead to network downtime, hindering seamless operations and data transmission.
  • Installation Challenges
    Installing pressure sensors in concrete valve pits with steel manhole covers has proven to be a complex and time-consuming task. The combination of different materials, precise positioning requirements, and sealing needs have posed installation challenges for the project.
  • Supply Chain
    Timely availability of the required products is crucial for the smooth implementation of the Smart Islands project. Meticulous planning, coordination, and stock management are necessary to overcome supply chain difficulties and avoid project timeline delays.
  • Harsh Environmental Conditions
    The challenging tropical island climate exposes equipment to severe environmental conditions, including intense winds, high temperatures, UV radiation, high humidity combined with seawater, and frequent heavy rainfall.
  • Insect and Animal Interference
    Insects such as ants and wasps, as well as animals like geckos, have the potential to invade or occupy protective housings, enclosures, sensors, and gateways, which can compromise their functionality.


1 Water Distribution Management
2 Water Tank Level Monitoring
3 IAQ Enhancement

To guarantee a consistent and dependable water supply to residents of Rarotonga, a meticulously designed water distribution system is in place. The process begins by sourcing water from natural sources such as creeks, rivers, or underground reservoirs. This water is collected at intake points and undergoes treatment processes to meet quality standards, preparing it for distribution.

water distribution full scale
  • Monitoring Intake Points
  • Pressure Monitoring
  • Water Distribution and Pressure Regulation
  • Future Plans
At each intake point, LoRaWAN® Pipe Pressure Sensors and Submisison Water Level Sensors from Milesight are employed to monitor different parameters, including buffer tank levels, pressure, and water volume produced.
After treatment, the water from the ten main intake points is transported to the main distribution ring. Each intake point is connected to the main ring through pipelines equipped with connection points. These connection points are installed with water meters and Milesight EM500-PP Pipe Pressure sensors. The EM500-PP sensors are specifically designed to measure pressures of liquids and gases, facilitating pressure monitoring of tank levels and pipe pressure and leakages. The data collected by these sensors and the LoRaWAN® ModBus transceivers, which are connected to the water meters, are transmitted using LoRaWAN® technology.
The primary distribution ring serves as the core of the system, connecting various distribution pipelines that supply water to residential, commercial, and industrial areas. This network ensures fair access to water and maintains adequate pressure at each connection point. To regulate water flow and pressure, Milesight EM500-PP LoRaWAN® Pipe Pressure sensors are strategically placed along the main loop.
From the central ring, smaller distribution pipelines extend to individual consumers, delivering water to their respective locations. As part of future plans for the intakes and distribution, EM500-PP Pipe pressure sensors and EM500-SWL Submersible Water Level Sensors will be installed to accurately monitor water pressure and consumption, further enhancing the efficiency of the system.


  • Enhancing Efficiency and Performance
    The implementation of these sensors brings significant benefits by accurately measuring water production, consumption, levels, and pressure, providing valuable data for the early detection of any abnormalities or issues. With strategically positioned pressure-regulating valves, the system maintains optimal pressure levels throughout the network, ensuring smooth water flow.
  • Actionable Insights and Analytics
    To ensure an uninterrupted water supply, regular maintenance activities such as inspections, leak detection, and infrastructure upgrades are conducted. Water management authorities closely monitor the system, promptly identifying and addressing any leaks, blockages, or inefficiencies that may arise. The solution includes the utilization of the IQnexus IoT Platform, which offers actionable insights and analytics to optimize the performance of the water distribution system.
  • Guarantee of Clean and Safe Water
    The ultimate goal of the water distribution system in Rarotonga is to provide residents and businesses with reliable and efficient access to water. Through meticulous design, continuous monitoring, and proactive maintenance, the system guarantees the delivery of clean and safe water for everyday needs.
The Necessity of Water Pressure Management
In residential and commercial settings, it is common to have a buffer water tank connected to the main water supply, which is equipped with a pump to facilitate efficient pressure for water distribution.
Rainwater Accumulation Monitoring
By monitoring the level of rainwater accumulation, the EM500-SWL sensor enables precise tracking of the availability of rainwater as an alternative water source. This reduces reliance on the main water supply and promotes sustainable water management practices.
water tank level 1
em500 swl data


  • Efficient Water Management
    The data collected by the Milesight sensors empowers the water system and building managers to make informed decisions regarding water usage and management. With insights into consumption patterns and tank levels, they can optimize water distribution, promptly detect and address leaks, and implement water-saving practices.
  • Cost Savings and Sustainability
    The implementation of these sensors brings significant benefits by accurately measuring water production, consumption, levels, and pressure, providing valuable data for the early detection of any abnormalities or issues. With strategically positioned pressure-regulating valves, the system maintains optimal pressure levels throughout the network, ensuring smooth water flow.
Challenges in Optimizing IAQ for Closed Loop HVAC Systems
Creating a healthy and comfortable indoor environment relies on maintaining excellent indoor air quality (IAQ). However, achieving optimal IAQ in closed loop HVAC systems poses challenges due to limited fresh air exchange, due to the system character and the high outdoor temperatures.
IAQ Sensors
Milesight's range of sensors, including the LoRaWAN® AM Series IAQ Sensors (AM103, AM307, and AM319) effectively monitor and measure key IAQ parameters such as temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels (CO₂), TVOC, light, PM2.5 and PM10, HCHO, O₃, and PIR motion.
Temperature & Humidity Sensor
Besides, Milesight's EM300-TH Temperature and Humidity sensors contribute to air quality control, ensuring comfort and optimizing energy management. These sensors are specifically designed for environments like storage, archives, and server rooms.
Optimizing Energy Efficiency with IAQ Sensors
To optimize energy efficiency while still ensuring good IAQ, the ventilation rate can be adjusted based on the data collected by Milesight Indoor Air Quality Sensors. If the IAQ remains at a satisfactory level, the ventilation rate can be reduced, thereby minimizing energy consumption while still meeting IAQ requirements.
iaq enhancement indoor
iaq enhancement data
iaq enhancement storage room
iaq enhancement energy efficiency


  • IAQ Significantly Improved
    The IAQ has experienced a remarkable enhancement, and occupants now enjoy fresher and cleaner air, which contributes to a healthier and more comfortable living or working environment. Moreover, the improved IAQ has led to a reduction in respiratory discomfort and allergic reactions among individuals who may have been sensitive to poor air conditions.
  • Energy Efficiency Optimized
    The integration of Milesight sensors enables the accurate measurement of both outdoor and indoor parameters, providing the necessary data to make informed decisions regarding night-time cooling and ventilation strategies.
  • Building Automation Enhanced
    The implementation enables centralized control and monitoring of HVAC systems. It streamlines operations, improves energy efficiency, lower the labour costs and enhances occupant comfort.
  • Residents'Living Comfort Improved
    The data collected by Milesight sensors can be subjected to advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques for analysis. This analysis enables the identification of patterns, detection of deviations, and prediction of potential Energy IAQ issues. Armed with this information, building operators can take timely actions to address Energy IAQ problems and create a healthier indoor environment for occupants.

Discover More about Milesight Products

Why LoRaWAN®?

"Scalability was the key in choosing the right technology to develop the Cook Islands into truly smart islands. As we start with Rarotonga to launch, building IoT infrastructure across 15 islands is no simple task, but the strong capabilities of Semtech's LoRa devices and LoRaWAN® standard provided an ease of deployment and scalability this comprehensive project requires to succeed."

—— Tai Kauraka Tangaroa, CEO at ICTnexus.


Why Choose Milesight

  • quote
    “ICTnexus/IQnexus made the decision to opt for Milesight products for the Smart Islands project due to their alignment with the project's specific system requirements. Apart from offering long battery life, high product quality, and low-cost maintenance, the selection of Milesight products was also influenced by their outstanding service.”
  • iqnexus logo
    "Their strong reputation for providing reliable customer support and prompt technical assistance played a significant role in our decision-making process, " stated Michael Welzel, the CTO of ICTnexus/IQnexus.


About IQnexus
IQnexus is a market-leading provider of sophisticated IoT solutions for a wide range of applications, including Building Automation, Air Quality Monitoring, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), Energy Management, Water Management, and other related industrial and commercial sectors. With a strong reputation in the industry, IQnexus specializes in delivering complex IoT solutions that meet the unique needs and challenges of their clients.
iqnexus logo
About ICTnexus
-the local partner of IQnexus in the Cook Islands
ICTnexus is a prominent company based in the Cook Islands, offering a wide range of services and solutions in the field of information and communication technology. With a strong presence in the local market, ICTnexus serves as a trusted partner for businesses and organizations seeking innovative technology solutions.
ictnexus logo

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