There’s good news for Shoreview residents interested in doing a better job of preserving what is fast becoming our most valuable natural resource– water. After changing out every water meter in the city at no incremental cost to homeowners in 2009,* the radio signals sent out by the devices made it possible for residents to participate in a web-based water usage program. With WaterSmart, as its called, homeowners can see how their consumption compares to similarly-sized homes, then they are offered suggestions & how-tos to help them bring their usage under control.
In February, Public Works Resource Specialist Neva Widner spearheaded an initiative to enroll 400 households in a voluntary pilot group to begin the data and information-sharing process. To be clear, however, the program is only about empowering people with information, and is not being done in a Big Brother kind of way, according to Public Works Director Mark Maloney.
Apparently the pilot program has created enough success for the city to roll out the opportunity for ‘slicing and dicing’ water data to the entire Shoreview community. In fact, of the 6,428 residential water customers in Shoreview, approximately 75% of them currently have access to the WaterSmart program (and will soon begin receiving reports) while the remaining 25% currently do not for statistical comparison purposes. Sometime next month, an expected program refinement will be the issuance of a ‘water score’ to each participating household.
To learn more about getting– or staying– involved with the program, try visiting the relevant City webpage at: City of Shoreview WaterSmart Program.
*The City did pay $2.5 million for the cost of switching out the residential water meters.
(Note: The council candidate’s household was one of the 400 pre-registered program participants, and he enthusiastically supports the promise WaterSmart offers for altering water consumption habits.)