Ed Archuleta, Director of Water Initiatives at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and Advisory Board Member to WaterSmart Software, discusses the future of Texas’ water supplies in the context of large projected economic and population growth, providing a framework for water professionals and community members that ensures available and affordable water supplies into the future.
Social norms are a powerful tool for water utilities that want to persuade consumers to change their behavior. The first substantial research that emerged from the water world on this front resulted from a June 2012 to June 2013 pilot project between 10,000 customers of East Bay Municipal Utilities District in the San Francisco Bay Area and WaterSmart Software. WaterSmart Software sends Home Water Reports, which tell customers how much water they’re using, how it compares to their own past use, as well as how much water similar households and similar efficient households are using. The reports also provide information on how to increase water efficiency, available rebates or other messaging from utilities, proving to be an effective technique for water utilities.
Water agencies and utility companies are increasingly using behavioral science, through reports comparing household water usage to the norm, to push the conservation messages and other targeted communications. This article looks at software analytics and communications tools, including WaterSmart, that incorporate data analytics, targeted communications, and social norms messaging to achieve measurable outcomes that utilities care about it.
In recent years municipalities and utility companies have endeavored to capture, access, and manage data provided by Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Now they have another challenge, teaching the public the benefits of AMI. This article, featuring WaterSmart’s Jeff Lipton, discusses many advantages utilities and customers gain with AMI including usage monitoring, consumption and cost insights, higher reliability, improved billing accuracy, and better quality of water delivery.
A significant number of utility companies use WaterSmart Software to help customers keep track of their bills and other information about their account. The company has now developed a better online payment processing system, thanks to a partnership with Stripe.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is partnering with Orange County Utilities on a project to use WaterSmart Software in efforts to generate water savings for residential utility customers. WaterSmart utilizes social norms in conjunction with comprehensive data analytics and targeted messaging to modify water use behavior. Orange County Utilities was selected for the 12-month program as part of the district’s cost-share program, which assists in funding projects related to enhancing water conservation efforts as well as developing sustainable water resources and providing flood protection.
Pasadena Water and Power has contracted with WaterSmart Software to launch a utility and customer web portal that will provide residential water consumption reports, household comparison data, and conservation tips. In addition, PWP staff will have access to customer consumption analysis, utility consumption analysis, and high use and leak alerts.
Scott Laidlaw, chief of the water supply planning bureau for St. John’s Regional Water Management District in Florida, discusses how WaterSmart Software’s customer engagement platform has led to water savings of about 4 million gallons since its implementation last September for 5,000 residential accounts in Ocala. The most recent results indicate a 5 percent reduction in water use by platform users, and customer satisfaction with the utility’s water services has improved by 35 percent. Read more.
Brian Brady, FPUD General Manager, recently discussed Fallbrook’s five-year program to replace all automatic meter reading equipment with advanced metering infrastructure. In tandem with its AMI launch, Fallbrook is working with WaterSmart Software to provide the district with alerts of leaks, high usage, and will also provide for management and enforcement of use limit violations. He noted the WaterSmart customer portal provides customers with a web and mobile portal, real-time usage data, GPD usage information, personalized water scores, personalized water-saving actions, neighborhood comparisons, seasonal usage data, annual end use, historical trends, historical user actions, and alerts.