Many people do not realize how valuable water is until it's gone. Worldwide, droughts affect over 1.5 billion people in the developing world. California, one place currently affected by severe droughts, is working on a project that will improve water supply and hopefully get rid of some of its recently mandated water laws.
Specifically, California is focusing on fixing the water shortage with Resnick Institute in Pasadena. This institute looks at scientific and technological fixes for energy, water, and other sustainability issues. Together, they are working on a three-part plan that includes implementing technology that could restore and recover lost water, sensors that could track water flow, and models that could notify water usage and leaks with sensors.
Los Angeles, for example, receives a decent amount of rainfall. However, most of it ends up in the ocean. California has wasted as much as billions or maybe even trillions of gallons of water, due to meters not being set in ground water wells and farmers' uncertainty regarding how much water they were using.
Poor tracking of water usage is not the only contributor to California's massive drought. Last summer, 20 million gallons of water leaked in the state because a pipe burst under L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard. With the help of municipal sensors, the state can prevent this from happening again by tracking water flow and leaks.
Using computer models with accurate data, engineers could write algorithms that predict use of water and store waste water. If a model is built, it could track L.A.’s water usage by the minute. Measuring these rates could find spikes, therefore detecting potential underground leaks. With sensors too, engineers could quickly locate the leak in minutes, maybe even seconds, thus saving time, water, and money.
Hopefully, with the institute's ideas, this project could also help other developing countries and create additional ideas for sustaining water. This initiative may also increase awareness about how precious resources really are.