New devices help monitor and reduce water usage

How much water do you use throughout the day? Do you leave the sink running while you brush your teeth? Take extra long showers? With a new device, called MyWater, users can learn just how much waste they may be washing down the drain. Simply put in some basic information, plug in the device next to your sink, tub, or washing machine, and follow up to see how your water habits change over time. You can even compare to nearby houses for a real-time comparison.

The company said its goal isn’t to get users to cutback their use by 90 percent – a stat that’s far from realistic. Rather it wants to remind users about their everyday decisions, for instance, using less water to wash one’s hands or setting the washing machine to “small load” when fewer clothes are put into the machine.

How it Works

Setup as an electronic screen (think digital nightlight), the device measures the amount of water going down a drain, measuring speed, frequency, and daily habits. Over time, users can see a chart of how much water they used per day from each spout, and what percentage they’ve decreased (or increased) their usage. The device also measures intake from nearby houses so consumers can see if they’re more or less wasteful than their neighbors. Size of one’s home is also taken into consideration.

The device is yet to be released onto the market, but it taking heavy strides to be on shelves within two years; it’s predicted to cost less than $100.

The WaterPebble

waterpebbleAnother similar device, the WaterPebble, is already available for consumer use. This electronic “pebble” sits in the bottom of one’s drain and measures how much water flows through. What makes the Pebble different is that is shows users when it’s time to stop their water use. A green light means water usage is on the right path, amber shows consumers they’re at the half-way mark, and red means it’s time to turn the water off.

After each shower, water allowance is slightly reduced, encouraging consumers to follow greener habits. WaterPebble can also be restarted at any time to increase one’s shower time or to adjust for a new user.

To get started, users program the Pebble, then place it near the drain. Simply turn the sink on and the WaterPebble will come to life as water touches the device. WaterPebbles cost approximately $10 each.

Consider these devices today for a smart new way to combine electronics with Earth-friendly habits.