Randomly selected Austin Water customers will receive an email this week with instructions for joining the pilot program. Austin Water invested in the Dropcountr program following a recommendation from the Water Resources Planning Task Force, which in its 2014 report called for investing in customer water report software.
According to the task force recommendation, a similar program used in California resulted in a 5 percent reduction in total water demand in six months.
"This will be an exciting opportunity to expand our conservation efforts," Austin Water Utility Director Greg Meszaros said in an April 15 city memo.
Through the Dropcountr mobile app—available for download on the Apple AppStore and Google Play, Austin Water can send instant notifications to customers, including alerts about abnormal water usage resulting from potential leaks. Customers can also compare their water intake with other users and receive alerts about drought restrictions, according to the Dropcountr website.
The random selection of participants helps the city track behavioral changes that result from using Dropcountr, according to an April 21 city news release. Austin Water will also send out paper reports by mail to a separate group of random participants unless they choose to opt out.
Should there be enough room for additional participants, the mobile app will be made available for general download and use, according to the city-owned water utility.
Water utility customers can email [email protected] with any questions.