Zero to One… Million

Five years ago, my co-founder Rob Steiner and I met to discuss an opportunity we both thought was vital and urgent – how to design a water conservation solution that would reach each customer without a costly visit to each home. The idea made sense to us, but would it make sense to water utility managers who are in the business of selling water?

Today, as we send out our one millionth Home Water Report, I can confidently state that the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” In five short years, WaterSmart Software has grown from two water advocates with an idea to a thriving company with 25 employees, 30 utility partners in four states, and a cumulative impact of over 750 million gallons of water saved!

While we always intended to help people better understand their water use to improve efficiency and save money, we began to … see more

A Day in the Life of Our Water

Every morning when you wake up, go to the bathroom and turn on the faucet to brush your teeth, water comes out. Right away, every time. That is pretty amazing if you stop to think about it. Have you considered the journey that water took to get to you? In many cases, it has traveled hundreds of miles to arrive at your tap. Let’s consider our water here at WaterSmart HQ in San Francisco as an example. When Dave goes to the sink to fill up the pot to make coffee in the morning, where does that water come from? What does a day in the life of our water look like?

In our case, the day starts out in the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite National Park. Water flows lazily down the Tuolumne River, gaining speed as it dips down into Hetch Hetchy Valley. It stops short in Hetch … 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

WaterSmart Innovations 2014: Lessons Learned

It’s all about innovation
It’s in the name, but it bears repeating. The water utility industry has a bit of a bad rap for lacking innovation, and being decades behind its energy utility counterparts. But what I learned from WSI is that innovation in water has arrived!

And I don’t just mean tech innovation. The exhibitors and speakers at WSI were great examples of this. Sure, there was some incredible technology. The Toro sprinkler heads the size of your finger that contain over 50 separate micro-gears to maximize irrigation efficiency? Awesome. The Deep Drip watering stakes that get water to your tree’s roots without it evaporating away? Super cool. There were many great technologies on display that smart people have developed to save water. But there were other, equally important kinds of innovation too. Here are just a few examples.

  • AMWUA’s public outreach innovation. Their #SmartPig social media campaign has
… see more

Welcome to the WaterSmart blog

I want to take a moment to welcome you to the new WaterSmart Software blog. We’ve been contemplating starting a blog for some time now, and with the redesign of our website, it felt like the perfect opportunity to get started.

I founded WaterSmart Software with Rob Steiner five years ago with the mission to change the way the world uses water. Since that time, we’ve seen some incredible things transpire, both good and bad. We’ve built a world-class technology platform to help water utilities and their customers save water and money. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have 29 utility partners to work with and learn from. And with help from our investors, we’ve built an amazing team of motivated and passionate individuals. We’ve seen the beginnings of a paradigm shift in the water industry where the customer is becoming a partner in the effort to improve water-use efficiency through … see more