In 1876, the Municipality of Paris decided to install the first water meters, on an optional basis, in its water distribution system. The idea quickly caught on and, by the beginning of the twentieth century, meters had reached the homes and buildings of most subscribers to the French capital’s municipal water utility. Although small compared to the system of which they were a part, meters radically altered water usage patterns, as well as the relationships between the stakeholders involved in the water distribution system of the capital. After explaining why the City decided to introduce metering and giving an account of the ensuing debate, the author considers the widespread popularity of water metering amongst subscribers in Paris. In the second part, the author offers an overview of the new landscape (actors, relationships and practices) resulting from the adoption of metering in Paris. Finally, based on the event of water metering and the handling thereof, the author concludes with some general considerations on the potential for cross-fertilization between the history of technology and other historical sub-fields, such as urban history.