July 27, 2016
The City of Woodland recently released a simple, easy-to-use online tool to help residents and business owners better understand and manage their water use. This free service, AquaHawk Alerting, allows Woodland water customers to view their hourly water use, receive alerts when there is abnormal use on their account, and more. Visit www.cityofwoodland.org/mywateruse to register and for more information. For those who would like extra guidance, City staff will hold a workshop on August 10, 7:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Woodland Community Center (2001 East Street) to teach participants how to most effectively use this tool.
Upon logging in, users have access to a wealth of helpful information, including a dynamic graph displaying their water use in gallons and cubic feet, their bill total estimated to date and projected to the end of the billing period, and alerts of unusual use. The graph’s default view shows daily water use for the past year in addition to temperature and rainfall data, but there are many different ways one can view the information. Other standard views range from 45 days down to 24 hours. A user can click and drag across a specific time to zoom in and view just those selected days. Double clicking on any day allows you to “drill down” and view how much water was used each hour. You can even choose to view your use as it accumulates throughout the billing cycle. The most helpful view to catch a potential leak is the 72-hour view. Normal water consumption fluctuates throughout the day with times when no water is used. If you notice that you have consistent use every hour, you may have a leak.
These different views help users pinpoint when they are using the most water and where they can cut back. “I received an ‘unusually’ high water bill this month,” reported Ana Gonzalez, Woodland resident, “With the help of AquaHawk, I was able to pinpoint the exact day and time of the ‘water waste’ and have since adjusted the settings on my irrigation system.”
To help manage their bills, users can choose to receive a text, email, or phone call if the account exceeds a threshold for gallons used or bill amount. Users set the thresholds by clicking on the blue “Alert Settings” button and choosing an amount of water (gallons) or an estimated bill amount (dollars) they do not want to exceed. AquaHawk will then send a notification when the target is reached. “Leaks are often undetectable,” explained Jordan Power, Water Conservation Coordinator for the City, “You may not be aware you have a problem until your bill comes. AquaHawk allows people to be notified of issues within hours, saving a lot of water.”
Woodland is ahead of the curve when it comes to water conservation technology. Every water account is connected to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and reports hourly meter data every four hours. The AquaHawk Alerting software gives water customers access to this information only a few hours after the meters report. “This is as close to real-time data as possible right now,” explained Power, “I encourage both residents and business owners to log-on and get a better understanding of how they use their water. All are invited to attend the free workshop on August 10th to learn more about AquaHawk’s features and how you can use them to save water and money.”
( View PDF )