New app is empowering locals to save money and water

More than two million gallons of water have been saved in Buda thanks to a new app that allows locals to view their water consumption. 

The Water Smart App lets users view their daily and hourly water usage, find leaks, compare their water usage to their neighbors and maintain transparency with water utility bills.

Water Resource Coordinator Blake Neffendorf said the city launched the app to complement the new meter system, which will allow the city and customers to collect water usage data in hourly intervals.

The Water Smart App provides several comparison options. Users can check their water consumption from yesterday or from several years ago. 

In addition, locals can compare their water consumption to a citywide scale of water consumption.

“That way they know if they are on the higher end of consumption or doing a really good job. The app will give them such benchmarks to know where they are at,” Neffendorf said.

For privacy reasons, the app does not allow users to see their neighbors’ water consumption, but it does provide a citywide average for comparison.

The app can help reduce water bill costs with reminders to shut off running water. The app was designed as a water conservation tool, Neffendorf said.   

“The app has leak alerts and that helps residents save water. There have been incidents that people leave their water on overnight. They forget about turning the water off after watering their plants. The app will notify users. We have gotten comments thanking us for the reminder,” Neffendorf said.

Neffendorf said the app keeps people informed about their usage and provides watering tips such as how to plant certain types of plants and different ways to save water in their home or outdoors. Not only can users stay water conscious, but they can also be stay connected to city water warnings. 

“One of the benefits of this app is that we can send out direct communications to them. So if we went in a drought stage, we can send them an email or text notification that we were entering a drought stage. An emergency situation such as a pipe burst or we need to shut down the water in an area, we can send alerts about the issue,” Neffendorf said.

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