Everyone knows water comes from the sky or from rivers, streams, lakes and the ocean. But what happens between there and water faucets is somewhat of a mystery. And now that the California drought is being called the worst in more than 1,200 years, people need to learn the big picture of the flow of water.
Now companies are beginning to develop software and technology to analyze information from millions of water meters to improve communication with customers, find leaks, institute rate changes, and better manage what seems to be a shrinking pool of freshwater resources. What’s more, all of this information and interaction will take place via the ubiquitous smartphone, quickly bringing people up to speed on what they can do to help, how their usage compares with neighbors, and more.
For their part, municipalities and utilities are working to educate themselves on how to save this precious resource.
Managing Every Last Drop of Water
A company called GW&P has developed WaterSmart Software for several projects that have saved over 600,000 acre-feet of water per year, or enough to provide water to 2.4 million people. But it gets even better: according to GW&P its current projects also save more than 40 million kWh of electricity per year, or enough to power over 3,400 homes.
In one of its pilot projects in the City of Cotati, water demand was reduced by 5% over the first six months. According to CEO Peter Yolles, “we are proving that WaterSmart customer engagement platform is one of the easiest and most efficient ways for utilities to reduce water demand.”
For more information, the US Department of the Interior has created a clearinghouse for information on water conservation, including their Three Year Progress Report.
The following is a response to the California drought by WaterSmart’s data scientists Will Holleran.
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