WaterSmart 2017 Year in Review

2017 has been a big year at WaterSmart!  Over the past 12 months we expanded our customer engagement platform to provide automated communication management for utilities’ most time-intensive  topics – leaks, high bills, and emergency notifications. We also extended our reach into utility bill presentment and electronic billing. Taken as a whole, these new product capabilities drive efficiencies and data transparency across the entire utility organization.

Here are some highlights of our product releases over the past 12 months.  We’ll continue to build upon this momentum to reduce the cost to serve utility customers, protect utility revenue, and improve customer satisfaction in 2018!

Cutting Edge Text and Voice Communications

In 2017 we expanded Group Messenger, our automated customer messaging system, to include text and voice communication channels. Because many utilities have more phone numbers on file than email addresses, this feature allows Group Messenger to be used as
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The Intersection of Land Use Management and Water Security


Water conservation practices are just one component of a sustainable and resilient water system. Many more variables are involved, including protection of water quality of neighboring bodies of water, decrease of flooding in low-lying areas and minimization of erosion of local streams and hill-slopes. Here at WaterSmart we are deeply interested in increasing awareness of these issues, since the public’s relationship with and influence on their water system extends far beyond the boundaries of improved efficiency. In particular, land use practices are closely related to water supply availability, ecosystem health, and water quality. These practices present valuable opportunities for innovation moving forward. Looking to the future, communications around land use issues will be an increasingly important touch-point between water managers and their customers, and it is an area of growing interest in the broader environmental community.

Land use patterns are a leading cause of urban water pollution in the United … see more

Bottled Water and the Myth of Purity: Part II

Last October we wrote about the myth of bottled water purity relative to highly regulated municipal tap water. While American consumers are increasingly choosing bottled water over tap, scientific studies and regulatory paradigms indicate that bottled water is often no more “pure” than tap water. Indeed, while nearly half of bottled water simply originates from municipal sources, American consumers – particularly lower income and minority populations – are increasingly willing to pay 300x (or more) for a “premium” water product.

The nature of these bottled water costs – and their relative distribution across the U.S. population – are troubling in that they imply that perception of drinking water quality could be contributing to growing economic polarization. Heightened demand for bottled water increases the financial burden on lower-income communities, and is indicative of key differences in water perception across diverse populations.

Importantly, consumption of bottled water varies significantly across ethnic boundaries, … see more

Bottled Water and the Myth of Purity: Part I

Several months ago, during a weekend trip to the wine country, I was stocking up on groceries with a group of friends. Along with beer, wine, bread, and cheese, my friends nonchalantly piled three flats of single use water bottles into their cart. When asked why they were purchasing the water, my friends responded “in case we’re thirsty,” apparently oblivious to the fact that our vacation rental came equipped with multiple faucets providing safe, purified water for free.

Since the 1970’s bottled water has transformed from something you stock in case of emergencies to the drink of choice for tens of millions of Americans.

BottledWater-per-capita-2012Source: Data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation, graph created by Peter Gleick

The International Bottled Water Agency estimates that in 2013, annual U.S. bottled water consumption increased 4.3% to 10.1 billion gallons. That’s an average consumption of about 230 single use water bottles per person per … see more