A year ago, my father and I founded our Los Angeles-based company on the fundamental principle that water is a precious resource and should not be wasted. And while we work throughout the world to provide solutions that help people save water at home, we know that California still has tremendous untapped potential for water efficiency.
The state’s recent water conservation progress report indicated that this winter’s rains are giving some Californians a false sense of security. For those of us in the business of water efficiency, this raises a red flag; even when we get rain, California can’t afford to take its water for granted. To sustain our communities and the economy, we need to prepare for the future by making water conservation part of our daily routine.
Like the smoke alarms and energy-saving smart thermostats that are now commonplace in homes, water efficiency technology is poised to become the next essential household management tool. Water efficiency companies are the next wave of high-tech businesses that can take root and thrive in California, bringing with them the associated jobs, investment and economic activity, all while allowing us to be more water efficient. This emerging industry will contribute greatly to California’s innovative, tech-savvy economy and will fill a critical gap in building a sustainable future.
During the drought of the past five years, Californians significantly reduced their water consumption, and according to a recent Field poll, 75 percent of voters believe it is important to continue to reduce water use. The governor’s executive order last May, to make water conservation a way of life, will help us build on this momentum. The order looks at all the ways in which we can save water, from fixing leaks to reducing indoor and outdoor water use, and it gives water suppliers the flexibility to tailor plans to fit their communities.
Under the governor’s directive, there will also be requirements to improve data collection and water-use efficiency for commercial, industrial and institutional water users. At Flo Technologies, we are not only on board with these principles, we built our business on them. We’ve developed technology that monitors all water usage – including indoor, outdoor and system leaks – and provides real-time data to show customers how much water they’re using and where and when they’re using it. At the same time, this empowers people to conserve water.
Tremendous opportunities exist to improve urban water conservation and efficiency, saving consumers money on their water bills and allowing suppliers to avoid costly new infrastructure investments. We know efficiency can meet the needs of California’s growing economy and population; here in Los Angeles we are using the same amount of water today as we did 45 years ago, despite having a million more residents. Even better, water conservation and efficiency are recognized as the fastest, most affordable and most environmentally sound ways to meet water needs.
Climate scientists predict that California is facing more frequent, severe and longer-lasting dry periods. We must begin preparing today rather than simply reacting to each emergency when it happens – which it surely will again. Implementing a clear and workable water efficiency program and utilizing water-saving technologies will help ensure California homes, communities, businesses and ecosystems have the water we need to thrive in the future.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Water Deeply.