Tag Archives: colorado waterwise

How Austin, Texas got Water Wise Using Data

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At the most recent Colorado WaterWise Lunch n’ Learn, Robb Barnitt talked about the success of Austin Water’s pilot program with Dropcountr.

Ever forgotten to lock the front door or close the garage when leaving the house? Luckily there are home security apps that will fix that for you, but what if a faucet is leaking in your home or the hose outside is still on? There’s an app for that, it’s called Dropcountr.

Colorado WaterWise, an organization that serves as a leader in efficient water use in Colorado, featured Dropcountr during their most recent Lunch n’ Learn on July 13 with a presentation from Robb Barnitt explaining how the app saved 41 million gallons of water in Austin, Texas. The Dropcountr app gives homeowners and water utilities access to real-time water-use data in an organized format.

Austin Water tested Dropcountr with their users and saved 41 million gallons of water over the first year. Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States, relies on Texas’ Colorado River and groundwater to hydrate their people, lawns and animals. Austin Water was looking for a way to accommodate the water needs of their fast growing city and encourage water conservation.logo-1[1]

Water data can be intimidating and difficult to understand because of the sheer amount of data. For most people, looking at water bills can be confusing, time consuming, and difficult to understand their home water use. To address this issue, Austin Water started a pilot program with the Dropcountr app in June 2015 with about 8,500 customer accounts. The app provides the user with a dashboard that shows water usage data every hour, data from previous weeks, months, and years, and will allow the user to compare their household with other similar households in the neighborhood. The app can send alerts if it detects a leak in your home, making homeowners more aware so they can fix leaks in order to save water and money. Users also have the opportunity to set goals for water usage. This encourages people to conserve water and provides homeowners with tips for how to conserve and rebates for purchasing high efficacy appliances. Austin Water saw a nine percent reduction in water usage. In the top 20 percent of highest water users, they saw reduction of 17 percent.

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Dropcountr shows real-time water usage amounts as well as data from past months and years.

Dropcountr estimates users save 30 gallons per day because they are aware of how much water they are using or aware of leaks in their home. This type of access to real-time water data will bring awareness to the amount of water that is being used in a household and provide tips for conservation.

For Austin Water, the app seemed like a no-brainer as everyone has a cell phone on them at all times so it seemed like the most efficient, effective way to reach water users.

Denver Water is also involved in an pilot program with Dropcountr! Are you a Denver resident? Download the app and start tracking your usage and data.

summer2017datahwcoverFind further coverage of water data in the Summer 2017 Data Issue of Headwaters magazine. Intrigued with access to real-time water-use data? Check out the story on page 16 of Headwaters and listen to the latest episode of our radio series, Connecting the Drops Using Real-Time Data to Encourage Water-Wise Habits.

Not a Headwaters subscriber? Visit yourwatercolorado.org for the digital version. Headwaters is the flagship publication of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education and covers current events, trends and opportunities in Colorado water.

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Upcoming Conservation Summit

By Frank Kinder, co-chair of the Colorado WaterWise  board of directors, and senior conservation specialist with Colorado Springs Utilities

Coloradoans are always thirsting for more water knowledge.  In the arid west, conservation is an important part of our water picture. Colorado WaterWise presents an update to conservation in the square state this month with its annual Conservation Summit

In its 8th year, the Conservation Summit is where attendees gather to share the latest water conservation tools, news, and come together to network—you’re invited to attend this year on October 29 in Denver.

Participants will learn about the Colorado Outdoor Water Regulation Guide, a smart phone app that connects users to city ordinances; learn the latest in the AWWA M36 Water Loss Audit distribution efforts and workshops; hear about updates to Colorado Water, Live Like You Love It; and discover other upcoming tools and projects facilitating conservation in Colorado.

Dr. Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind, will be the keynote speaker at the WaterWise Conservation Summit. He is pictured here with CFWE's Kristin Maharg at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, will be the keynote speaker at the WaterWise Conservation Summit. He is pictured here with CFWE’s Kristin Maharg at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference

Highlights will include a talk from Tom Browning of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, who will discuss water conservation in Colorado’s Water Plan, and the necessity of water conservation for Colorado’s water future.  You’ll also have the hands-on experience of water education activities in our K-12 schools, where science, fun, and learning convene. Becky Fedak of Brendle Group will outline progress in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors with her Net Zero Water Toolkit, which is helping cities plan today for the future. Jane Clary will take participants outside with progress on quantifications of landscape water use. And our keynote, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, will share and inspire with his groundbreaking work on The Blue Mind, exploring how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do.

great divideThe day completes with a special showing of The Great Divide film about water in Colorado, with producers providing an introduction.  There will even be popcorn and refreshments with the show. Go enjoy the day, immersing yourself in the world of water with people who love it as much as you do.  Click here to register…see you there!

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Filed under Events, Water Education and Resources, Water Supply

Register for the Colorado WaterWise Water Conservation Summit

The agenda for the Colorado WaterWise 5th Annual Water Conservation Summit and pre-conference workshop is posted and registration is open.

Attend the summit to learn about “SMART” landscape water management, a study on irrigation using gray water, marketing, Colorado’s Water Plan and more. The FREE pre-conference workshop is on constructing successful water rates, read the flyer below, and RSVP because space is limited!

CWW Pre Conf FlyerInterested in water rates? Take a look at the Winter 2013 issue of Headwaters magazine on utilities.

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Join us for the Colorado WaterWise 4th Annual Conservation Summit!

By Natalie Stevens, City of Greeley

ImageAre toilet replacement efforts effective? How do Colorado cities plan for drought? What are the political impacts on water conservation programs? Is more money needed for water efficiency or are more regulations the way to go? The answer to these questions and more will be part of the Colorado WaterWise Summit on October 19 in Denver.

This Summit is designed for water supply planners, environmental professionals, conservation professionals, elected officials, city planners, educators, green industry professionals, and green builders and developers to learn more about what is happening at the State and local level relating to water conservation and water efficiency. The Summit also provides tools and tactics for implementing a variety of water efficiency programs.

This year’s exciting program includes featured speakers such as Eric Wilkinson with Northern Water, Nolan Doesken with the Colorado Climate Center, and Mary Ann Dickinson with the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and many other leaders in water conservation. Case studies on toilet retrofitting, irrigation management and outdoor water use will identify issues and outcomes of specific programs. A session on Colorado House Bill-1051, measuring and reporting water conservation to the state, prompts a discussion on the effectiveness of incentives and regulations, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Water Conservation Technical Advisory Group. In addition, there are presentations on the drought, including a discussion of drought parallels between 2002-2012, and a panel from utilities planning and preparing for drought.

The Colorado WaterWise Water Conservation Summit is a great networking opportunity to meet other water conservation professionals to share experiences and new ideas. Continue reading

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