Thoughts

A place for education, information, and insights about the water industry.

Topics: Did you know?

10 Years of WaterSmart in Review

December 31, 2019
| By Ali Barsamian
A decade is long period of time, yet it also seems to pass in the blink of an eye.  As 2020 quickly approaches and the current decade comes to a close, WaterSmart simultaneously celebrated ten years in business. WaterSmart was founded in November of 2009 as the first company in the United States to help water utilities use data analytics and behavioral science to improve water use efficiency and better serve and engage customers. 10 years later, we have worked with scores of utility staff, surveyed hundreds of thousands of end-use customers, attended thousands of conferences, and deployed a continuous stream of new product capabilities. What has come from all that are some fairly fascinating metrics and entertaining stories. 
First, ten metrics to illustrate our impact:
  1. A geographically dispersed user base, spanning over two-thirds of the United States  
  2. The largest market presence with over 140 utility partners representing over
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Topics: Did you know?

Flowing into Fall 2019

September 25, 2019
| By Ali Barsamian
WaterSmart's platform continu es to evolve. P reviously expand ing from water-use efficiency tools to a broad er set of customer engagement systems. Now, WaterSmart has expanded to a more comprehensive approach to support ing utility operations with automated solutions that help utility staff get more done in less time. Below are some highlights of how WaterSmart's Fall 2019 Release streamlines utility operations .  
 
Summer's over, but will irrigation change?
 
To help manage the transition between dry summer to rainy fall, WaterSmart has enhanced our irrigation detection algorithm . T he 'Irrigators Last Week ' report detect s and track s all irrigation within 48 hours of rain events. Group Messenger empowers u tility staff to educate customers about timed irrigation . Messages are even more powerful now with personalization variables that communicate estimated irrigation volume.  
 
Bills, bills, bills
 
 
Money is a top priority for
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Topics: utility culture

The Retirement Wave is Coming: How will you manage?

August 13, 2019
| By Ali Barsamian
Our lives run on water. It is hard to imagine a day without a steady flow and luckily, in America it is rare we have to consider the possibility. For that security, we must be thankful for the hard-working water utility professionals that spend their days ensuring we have continued access to safe and reliable drinking water. These professionals play a vital role in protecting public health. And for this reason, maintaining a consistent and reliable workforce is incredibly crucial. Thus, a substantial wave of impending retirements in an industry facing recruiting challenges should be cause for concern.
 
It is projected that in the next 10 years, 37 percent of the water utility workers will retire . This is a substantial percentage of the workforce needing to be replenished.  As a result, utility senior management must be prepared to do one of two things: do more with less and/or implement programs that will help them to attract and
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Topics: meter to cash

Meter to Cash: Turning Water Into Dollars

May 14, 2019
| By Jeff Lipton

When speaking with anyone who works for a water utility their priorities quickly become apparent. Water quality and reliability, intractably related to each other, form the core mission of any water utility. Without maintaining water quality and safety, customers may become sick or worse. Water suppliers in the United States take great pride in the reliability of service that they have provided for more than a century. No other country in the world has delivered such an extended period of reliability with 24x7 on demand water services. There are few people that live in the U.S. that can recount EVER turning on the tap and not receiving safe, life nourishing drinking water.

And yet the water industry has, in many ways, been a victim of its own success. Customers have come to take clean, reliable drinking water for granted. Most end-users have no comprehension of the effort and cost it takes to deliver a high quality, reliable

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Topics: social comparison

Top Technology Adoption Trends in the Water Industry

April 16, 2019
| By Jeff Lipton

 

 

As sensor technology becomes more prevalent throughout the water utility industry, the need for software systems to make sense of this flood of data is becoming increasingly critical. Data presentment and business intelligence tools that provide new insights to improve operations may leave utility managers with a broad set of competing priorities. In addition, the adoption and implementation of these new technologies can be both expensive and disruptive to long-standing business processes.

As a software provider to the water utility industry, WaterSmart has a front row seat to these challenges as well as the benefits that new data and communications solutions may offer. We regularly field questions from utilities interested in learning more about the state of ‘Smart’ technology adoption across the industry and whether their utility is keeping up. This led us to initiate a project to learn more about the leading trends related

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Topics: social comparison

Performance WaterMark: How does your utility compare?

April 9, 2019
| By Jeff Lipton
 
In 2009 WaterSmart Software was born around a simple question: Can social comparisons drive an improvement in water-use efficiency? It turns out the answer to that question was decidedly YES! Over the next several years WaterSmart became a pioneer in the practice that is now broadly known as Behavioral Water Efficiency . By providing water customers with information on how their water use compares with similar households along with specific, money saving recommendations on how they can more effectively use water, utilities see an increase in water-use efficiency of up to 5% .
Since that modest start, WaterSmart has expanded its reach to manage the data of more than 4 million customer accounts. In addition, our technology platform has grown to encompass a full suite of customer self-service and engagement capabilities, in addition to our legacy demand management programs.
 
As the complexity of our systems increased, we began
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