DUBUQUE, Iowa, - 20 May 2011: The City of Dubuque and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the IBM analytics and cloud computing technology deployed in 2010 by Dubuque as part of its Smarter Sustainable Dubuque research helped reduce water utilization by 6.6 percent and increased leak detection and response eightfold.
The Smarter Sustainable Dubuque Water Pilot Study empowered 151 Dubuque households with information, analysis, insights and social computing around their water consumption for nine weeks. By providing citizens and city officials with an integrated view of water consumption, the Water Pilot resulted in water conservation, increased leak reporting rate, and encouraged behavior changes.
Water savings were measured by comparing the consumption of the 151 pilot households with another 152 control group households with identical smart meters but without the access to the analysis and insights provided by the Water Pilot Study for the nine-week duration.
The smarter meter system monitored water consumption every 15 minutes and collected and communicated to the IBM Research Cloud. Data was collected from information including weather, demographics, and household characteristics. Using cloud computing, the data was analyzed to trigger notification of potential leaks and anomalies, and helped volunteers understand their consumption in greater detail. Volunteers were only able to view their own consumption habits while city management can see the aggregate data. All participating homes were volunteers and the data being collected was anonymous and contained no confidential information.
Participating households were alerted about potential anomalies and leaks and were able to get a better understanding of their consumption patterns and, compare and contrast it anonymously with others in the community. Pilot study participants accessed their personal water usage information through a website portal and participated in online games and competitions aimed at promoting sustainable behavior enabling them to become fully engaged and informed about their consumption and the impact of the changes they made to it. Participants were able to see their data expressed in dollar savings, gallon savings and carbon reduction.
More specific results include:>