The San Diego County Water Authority on Tuesday launched a smartphone app that enables users across the region to report water waste such as broken sprinklers, excess irrigation and potential violations of local water-use rules with the option of including a photo or video.
The Water Authority developed the app – “When in Drought, Report Waste” – in partnership with its 24 member water agencies to help inform property owners, meet state water-use reduction targets and avoid state fines. The Water Authority’s member agencies are responsible for responding to water waste reports generated for their service areas.
The app is free and available for both iPhone and Android devices through their respective app stores. There also is a link to the app on the Water Authority’s website, www.sdcwa.org/when-in-drought-report-waste-mobile-app.
“Residents and businesses across San Diego County are doing a great job saving water,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Often property owners are unaware of problems with their irrigation systems. Now when residents see water-waste issues in the community, they can use their smartphones to help correct the problem quickly.”
After downloading the app, users can report waste by either entering an address, or using the geolocation feature to pinpoint the location of the problem. Users then select from a list of common problems and have the option to enter more detailed information. Users also may include a video or photo of the problem.
The app includes other features such as links to online water conservation resources and rebates, a local water agency map and locator, and additional information about local and state restrictions. It can be used across all areas of the county served by the Water Authority’s member agencies.
The Water Authority developed the app as part of its enhanced regional drought response and outreach efforts its Board of Directors approved in May. The Water Authority also enhanced its “When in Drought” advertising campaign, added funding to programs that offer free home water use surveys, and is developing new water-efficient landscape education resources for homeowners and landscape professionals.
Over the past three months, San Diego County residents have saved large volumes of water, which is being stored in the newly expanded San Vicente Reservoir in case the drought continues into 2016 or beyond. Urban potable water use across the region fell by approximately 32 percent in July 2015 compared to July 2013. That follows a decrease of 26 percent in June compared to June 2013 and a 30 percent decline in May. The regional average target set by the state is 20 percent.
For more information about the drought, including water conservation resources, go to www.whenindrought.org.