Thoughts

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

Ali Barsamian

Topics: Editorial

To Build or Not to Build?

April 14, 2020
| By Ali Barsamian

Times have changed and current customer expectations established by other industries are pushing water utilities to re-evaluate their customers' experience.  Providing a one-stop shop for customers to view and track water consumption, and take additional self-service actions is quickly becoming table stakes for water utilities of all sizes. Bluefield Research predicts a 17.1% compound annual growth rate for investment in customer engagement software platforms in the coming years.  As utilities consider deploying said solution, a myriad of team members from varying departments will likely want specific features or functionalities included with the project. Before long, the list of requirements can begin to feel overwhelmingly long and incredibly unique to the utility's particular needs. 

A natural reaction for some may be to assume their needs are so unique that a custom solution must be developed in-house in order to adequately
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Topics: Did you know?

WaterSmart Software Response to COVID-19

March 16, 2020
| By Ali Barsamian

Presently, we are in an unprecedented time and each day we are exposed to new information related to the COVID-19 virus.  The confusion and uncertainty surrounding the disease can certainly be unsettling. First and foremost, our thoughts are with those around the world who’ve been impacted by the virus. We are hoping for safety and health for all. Thus far, the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. It is our understanding that standard water treatment methods used for filtering and disinfecting water, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate pathogens causing COVID-19.

At WaterSmart, the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities is a significant concern for us.  We are a technology company, and like many other firms we have taken proactive steps to help minimize the exposure and potential spread of COVID-19, and we are confident in our

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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: digital engagement

The Utility Built for a Millennial

October 11, 2018
| By Ali Barsamian
 
According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, m illennials are expected to become the nation's largest living adult generation by 2019. 37% of millennials were homeowners in 2015 and this number continues to rise, making them a significant fraction of a utilities' customer base. The m illennial generation is defined as those born between the years of 198 2 and 199 8. Th e impact this generation has had in t ransforming t he transportation, shopping , and television industries is already clear : J ust look to the widespread use of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the massive success of Amazon or the demise of video rental stores. Understanding how millennials think and what they expect from customer service is key to a successful future for utilities , particularly as they face critical infrastructure investments which often necessitate publicly approved rate increases
 
G rowing up in the age of internet
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