Although the Earth’s surface is 71% water, that doesn’t mean that all of that water is suited for human consumption. In fact only 2% of that is freshwater and 97% of that is ocean water. Water conservation is pretty vital for the future of the human race and one thing that could mainstream the processes of conserving water usage in the commercial and public sector is the Internet of Things (IoT).
How can IoT Help Conserve Water?
California is currently facing the worst drought on record, far worse than the drought that occurred in the late 80s to early 90s. The difference today is we have technologies such as SaaS, behavioral economics, and big analytics to help us mitigate this problem that only mother nature can truly solve. For homeowners, a device is currently being developed in which it can detect water leaks in pipes that would be similar to a smoke detector. The device uses the homeowner’s WiFI to alert them if there is a potential water leak such as a running toilet.
A company is also tackling irrigation water waste with IoT. This system incorporates on-site sensors for moisture and heat with other data such as the plant, soil, and exposure to the sun. External real-time data on weather conditions is also collected from the Internet. All these data sets are sent to the cloud in which algorithms determine the optimum irrigation by square kilometer.
With the right computing technologies, anyone can leverage the cloud, algorithms, wireless technology, and sensors to help them curb their intake of resources like water and energy. Warehouse retail giant Costco is leveraging this technology to conserve water and save money. Costco VP says that implementing this technology has been, “a tremendous benefit.” and has helped the company cut water use by 22% on average. The algorithms that Costco implemented in their system issues alerts when they detect unusual spikes in water use -- which could stem from faulty equipment or a faucet left running.
While IoT can’t fix a damaged pipe (yet) or solve the world’s water problem by literally making it rain, it can reduce the waste of water by helping users be more efficient and less wasteful with their consumption.
To relate this to your business needs, IoT has enormous potential to improve efficiency within your company. By identifying one small process to change, you can make a big impact in your company. Things like connecting robots on a factory floor to a back-end system to create a continuous production time or integrating AWS with Mule ESB and Twilio to create an application in which suppliers can more efficiently interact with customers.