I want to take a moment to welcome you to the new WaterSmart Software blog. We’ve been contemplating starting a blog for some time now, and with the redesign of our website, it felt like the perfect opportunity to get started.
I founded WaterSmart Software with Rob Steiner five years ago with the mission to change the way the world uses water. Since that time, we’ve seen some incredible things transpire, both good and bad. We’ve built a world-class technology platform to help water utilities and their customers save water and money. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have 29 utility partners to work with and learn from. And with help from our investors, we’ve built an amazing team of motivated and passionate individuals. We’ve seen the beginnings of a paradigm shift in the water industry where the customer is becoming a partner in the effort to improve water-use efficiency through the use of behavioral psychology and information technologies.
But the water industry has some serious challenges in the years ahead. There have been increasing incidents of water infrastructure failure and water quality issues. We know that there has been chronic underinvestment in our national water infrastructure, and recent estimates indicate that up to $4.8 trillion dollars will need to be spent over the next 20 years to update our aging pipes, pumps, and treatment plants. This means prices will be rising. In fact, it was just reported that prices in the top 30 U.S. cities have risen by nearly 7% in just the past year. We’re all going to have to shoulder the financial burden for this needed investment to maintain the quality and reliability we’ve come to expect.
And as all of us here in California well know, water stress due to drought, population growth, and climate change is becoming increasingly common. Rising food prices, rural population displacement, and stress to native plant and fish species are just a few of the impacts of this water scarcity. We can expect threats to our economic security and much worse in the years ahead if we don’t do a better job of managing our most precious resource.
And we can. We can all do a better job of improving water-use efficiency by becoming more informed. And that’s really the primary purpose of this blog: To educate, enlighten, and perhaps even entertain.
We plan to offer commentary, information, and behind the scenes views from different aspects of the water industry. We’ve tasked our internal team and others in the water community to contribute posts on a series of topics:
- Research: Information about data science, industry reports, environmental or technological trends, and other useful tidbits that will inform your understanding of some of the challenges confronting the water industry. We expect there will be some solutions offered as well.
- Stories: All kinds of stories from the corners of the globe on how people are confronting and creatively overcoming the challenges they face with water.
- Did You Know?: Fascinating ‘Top 10’ lists around everything from aging infrastructure to the land use impacts of water quality.
- Policy Updates: What's happening with regional or federal policy development, frameworks, funding, and other relevant regulatory or governmental factors that impact the water business.
- Editorials: A variety of Op/Eds on topics near and dear to our hearts including things like ‘Becoming a B-Corp’, ‘Is water shaming effective’, and ‘Is water a human right?’
We’ll be looking to you for other topic ideas, contributing posts, and feedback on the words we put on these pages. I’m sure it’s going to be fun, but mostly I hope that this blog will contribute to developing the community of ideas, insights, and action that are so desperately needed to help solve some of the daunting problems we face as a society, and as a planet.
So join us in our passion and mission. There’s a finite supply of the wet stuff to go around, so we all have a vested interest to find ways to use it more efficiently, treat it with the respect it deserves, and ensure water flows to support all the plants, animals, and people of our beautiful planet.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
-Peter Yolles, Founder & Chief Policy Officer, WaterSmart Software