Technology – mobile phones, laptops, iPads, and the associated programs and websites – can help to make our lives easier. And now you can put that technology to use to learn about water and water conservation. There is something for everyone, from tracking your water use and finding and fixing leaks to being a scientist for a day by collecting data about rainfall or your favorite waterway. Here are a just a few apps and websites to check out:
Water Footprint Calculator
What is your water footprint? The Water Footprint Calculator estimates your total household water use, from the electricity you use to the food you cook, by asking a series of detailed questions. The site also offers a selection of tips to help you save water, such as changing your diet, cutting back on indoor water use, using less water outdoors, saving energy to save water, and changing buying habits. There are also water resources for teachers and a guide on how to use the water footprint calculator to teach students about conservation.
ShowerTime App can help you manage how much water you use in the shower. This is especially useful for teenagers who like to take long showers by signaling when it’s time to rinse and time to stop your shower. The ShowerTime app has both audible and visible signals. It also calculates the total time of your shower and tells you the cost of the water you used. It is available for iPhone on the iTunes store.
Rainlog.org is a cooperative rainfall monitoring network for Arizona that is a collaborative project among several local and state agencies. Use the detailed maps to see rain totals across the state or right in your own neighborhood. Data is collected by volunteers with rain gauges and then posted onto the site. The data can be used for watershed management and drought planning by local, county, and state agencies. It’s also a great tool for homeowners to know when to shut off their irrigation controller when there is measurable rain in their area – this is especially helpful during monsoon storms when rainfall is very localized. The site welcomes more local weather watchers to participate. All you need is a rain gauge and access to the Internet. Learn how you can participate.
ADEQ’s Arizona Water Watch App
Using ADEQ’s Arizona Water Watch App is a great way to help keep Arizona beautiful and protect its waterways. Volunteers take a photo of a waterbody and answer questions about the area related to the water, wildlife, and trash or other concerning information. Scientists can use the data to analyze water quality issues, update flow data, and identify future areas of study. For detailed steps on how to access the app, visit the Arizona Water Watch page. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
Watering Text Alert
Need help figuring out how much and how often to water your landscape plants? Text WHENTOWATER to 33222 to receive FREE monthly watering reminders that include precise watering instructions for all your plant types in the Arizona low desert areas. Since up to 70 percent of a home’s water use is outdoors, efficient watering is one of the best and easiest ways to save water. Learn more about the two key steps that will help you get the most out of your monthly watering reminder.
How’s My Waterway?
Find out the condition of local streams, lakes and other waterways anywhere in the U.S. with the EPA’s How’s My Waterway? Has your local waterway been checked for pollution and if so, what was found and what is being done? The site also provides related links on information such as coastal beaches, fish advisories, drinking water, wetlands, and many more.
Smart Home Water Guide
Find and fix leaks inside and outside your home with the Smart Home Water Guide. This handy website takes you step-by-step through identifying leaks, starting with how to read your water meter. Since up to 70 percent of water use it outdoors, there are also efficiency tips for the irrigation system, the pool, spa, and water features (such as a fountain), and the evaporative (swamp) cooler.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you about the premier water conservation site, WaterUseItWisely.com, where great water-saving ideas are wading at your fingertips. Check us out for 100+ ways to save water, an interactive landscape watering guide, a home water challenge, games for youth, and more.