AT A GLANCE: southwest florida WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
What you need to know:
Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) is providing several million dollars in cost sharing funds for projects that enhance conservation efforts, create sustainable water resources, and provide flood protection.
Florida SB 552 authorizes cost-share funds for “software technologies that can achieve verifiable water conservation by providing water use information to utility customers.”
WaterSmart’s Analytics and Customer Engagement program satisfy SWFWMD’s requirements for a water conservation project, including Industrial/Commercial/Institutional (ICI) projects.
Applicants can receive up to 50% of funds to cover a 2-year WaterSmart Program.
With over 150 utilities in 34 states representing over 4 million customer accounts, WaterSmart is the largest and most experienced customer engagement and self-service platform provider in the utility industry. WaterSmart serves water suppliers with AMI, AMR, and manual read meter technologies and can accommodate a mix of meter read frequencies (hourly, daily, monthly). The WaterSmart Customer Self-Service Portal, available to customers through a mobile and web application interface, provides a single place for customers to see consumption, check and resolve leaks, view bills, signup for paperless billing, complete forms, and receive targeted messages about Utility promoted events and programs. WaterSmart delivers personalized water-use insights that compare water use of residential, irrigation, and commercial customers. Within the interactive online portal customers receive detailed personalized recommendations and information that is updated based on attributes and conservation action history. Communications promote water conservation awareness and participation in other utility programs. Additionally, WaterSmart provides alerts to customers to notify of potential high volume or continuous use leaks, to notify a customer that they have reached a self-selected consumption threshold, or to inform customers before the end of the billing cycle that they are likely to have high water use on their upcoming bill. The program can be launched within ninety days. Program results are measurable and statistically significant when running a Randomized Control Trial to compare changes in water usage between treatment and control groups.
How much funding should we request?
The District will fund a 2-year program and cover up to 50% of the total cost of a WaterSmart Program.
It is recommended to allocate $5 per meter per year to cover a WaterSmart Analytics and Engagement Program. For example, a program to deploy Customer Welcome Letters and a Customer Portal for 25,000 customers would translate to a total estimated project cost of $81,000 for a one-year program (a SWFWMD cooperative funds request of $40,500).
This allocation will cover all costs of set-up, integration, ongoing outbound customer communications, and measurement and verification of savings results each year.