Our presentation includes non-GAAP financial information that we believe enhances the overall understanding of our current and future performance. We have included a reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP operating income for the Water segment at the end of the presentation, and you can also find detailed reconciliation for Itron's consolidated results in our quarterly earnings press release available on our website at www.itron.com/investor.Now please turn to Slide 3. Our goal for today's webcast is to provide investors more insight into our global water business. We will cover what we believe about the water market, what we do at Itron to help our water customers address their challenges and our key financial metrics for our newly formed global Water segment. Following our prepared remarks, we will answer questions sent in by investors, and we expect the call will conclude in under one hour's time. Now please turn to Slide 4, and I will turn the call over to Marcel Regnier. Marcel Regnier Thank you, Barbara, and good morning, everyone. On Slide 4, you can see that IMS confirmed in its latest report published in 2011, Itron is the #1 provider of water metering products. We sold more than 9 million meters in 2011. That is basically one meter every 3.5 seconds. And by far, we are #1 in smart metering modules with 2.5 million units shipped last year, with about 50% of these shipped in North America, 30% in Europe and the rest in other countries like Australia, China, India. We have a large experienced employee base, serving our water customers around the world, and we have a global manufacturing network with significant presence over the 5 continents. We also have global R&D that allows us to design smart water metering platforms to customize to local requirements. This is one of Itron's core advantages.
On Slide 5, you can see Itron's vision. The way our world manage energy and water will shape this century. This is a bold statement, but this is one that we believe in. Our planet's energy and water resource are vitally important to life, and they are currently being strained.Turning to Slide 6. Water is essential to a sustainable future everywhere and for everything. No plant, no animal, no man can live without water. Water is at the heart of sustainability. To secure the environment, availability and quality standard for water is critical. Social and economic development, for basic human needs, fair and inefficient allocation and use of water is necessary. The United Nations Environment Program has placed water as one of the top millennium development goals, by 2015 to reduce by 50% the number of people worldwide who do not have yet access to safe drinking water. This would be adding 3 billion people to the water supply, 4 billion to sanitation. Our mission at Itron is to help the world's utilities and governments to achieve these essential goals. And this will expand what and how much business Itron will do in this industry. So please now turn to Slide 8. This slide shows a typical schematic of a water distribution ecosystem. Water distribution is a complex cycle. One do not produce water. It is actually a service. Water is extracted from earth, transported, utilized, polluted, cleaned, dropped back to earth at a different place. Overall, this industry consists of very heavy capital-intensive processes, and many technologies utilized in process control, measurement and others. And it require an intense use of energy and more and more technology and data. Turning to Slide 9, shows the challenges that governments and water companies worldwide face. Water utilities are almost all facing the same 3 challenges: Improve water and energy conservation, increase operational efficiency and educate consumers about their water consumption and inspire changes in their behavior. And to do so, they run project that will optimize supply in relation to demand, keep water cost affordable, improve access to water and provide consumers with better service. For this, they need actionable data. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com