We believe in healthy, attractive landscapes that are efficiently irrigated. Thriving plants create substantial value, well-being, and beauty when sustainably grown in our communities.
Over a third of all water used to irrigate commercial and public urban landscapes, however, is not beneficially applied. Our direct experience surveying over 1,000 such sites identifies three general types of improvements:
Most sites can benefit from easy-to-fix physical problems with their sprinkler systems. Common problems relate to water pressure, correct nozzling, leak repair, and basic sprinkler head maintenance.
Most sites can benefit from improved scheduling to better match plant water needs with supply. Technology has advanced with weather-based irrigation controllers, but installation and maintenance issues have limited their success.
Some sites can benefit from changing the types of plants or rearranging irrigation zones to contain only plants of similar water need. We support shifts in landscapes to lower-water-using plants, but know firsthand that this alone is not a sufficient condition to lower water use.
We believe all these improvements center on people. This is where we come in.
For each site, we chart how actual water use compares to a budget benchmark based on site-specific characteristics & real-time weather. Regular updates help people track progress and receive feedback on their actions. Calculations can be difficult for customers and landscape managers to make, and so we do it for them. Our metrics are irrigation-focused and go beyond simple usage data provided by agencies for billing purposes.
Beyond identifying potential irrigation problems, we use our irrigation expertise to recommend solutions. Our internal algorithms continually analyze water use at each site to identify leaks, seasonal misapplications, and agency financial rebates appropriate to the situation. For targeted sites wanting additional help, our irrigation experts can conduct on-site landscape field surveys to generate detailed diagnostics.
Most importantly, we get people to act toward the non-controversial goal of improving irrigation efficiency. We engage teamwork, progression, communications, and our published leaderboards to nudge people toward actions to improve water efficiency.
Sites in the Waterfluence program have reduced their overwatering, on average, by more than 50%. Ours is one of the most cost-effective programs available and helps water agencies comply with state water-efficiency targets, implement best management practices, and balance demand with limited water supplies. Our budgets have served as the basis for allocations and applicability of irrigation restrictions during drought curtailment.
Over 80% of our sites are actively viewed online by customers, property managers, HOA Board members, maintenance staff, and landscape contractors. Many people in our program are associated with multiple sites in multiple communities. Our service provides a comprehensive, consistent platform to better understand, monitor, prioritize, communicate, and act on solutions to improve irrigation efficiency.
Waterfluence's award-winning online platform is hosted at Amazon Web Services using the highest security standards. We employ advanced charting, mapping, and communication components and interface with any water billing system including AMI.
Since 2003, Waterfluence has partnered with water agencies to improve water efficiency at large commercial and public irrigation sites. Hubbed in the Bay Area of California, Waterfluence is expanding in the Western United States and currently serves the following agencies:
John Whitcomb, Program Director, is a behavioral scientist who has worked with over 100 water agencies on projects related to landscape irrigation, water efficiency, and software development. John holds a BA in economics and geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a PhD in geography and environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He loves to kayak on water saved by this program!
Chris Willig, Field Survey Manger, is a horticultural and irrigation expert with over 25 years of direct experience with large urban landscapes in California. He has personally completed over 800 Field Surveys totaling 9 square miles of landscaping. Chris has developed training programs, manuals, and tests for irrigation water management certification programs. Mr. Willig earned a BA in Biology from California State University, Northridge and a MS in Horticulture from the University of California, Davis. He is certified as Master Landscape Water Auditor in the State of California and as a Landscape Irrigation Auditor by the Irrigation Association.
Melissa Kunz, Communications Manager, handles communications and report distribution, and also wrangles with maps and website features. While working for a municipal water department, she led efforts to improve customers' understanding of water use and efficiency. Melissa has a BS in Earth Systems from Stanford University and enjoys trail running.
David Baker, IT Manager, works behind the scenes to keep our website running and data secure. Although most of his time is spent working with machines, he takes a real interest in making websites usable for people and loves the outdoors. David has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.