• 08.08.14

An App That Plugs Your Leaks To Save Cities Cash And Water

CitySourced lets community members identify water leaks around their city–a useful measure during times of drought.

An App That Plugs Your Leaks To Save Cities Cash And Water
[Spigot: Flickr user faungg]

As you can see from this map, California’s drought is now considered “exceptional” across most of the state. It’s perhaps the driest it’s been in 500 years, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.


There’s plenty of room for innovation in the water preservation space. Recently, we’ve seen Dropcountr, an app that gives individuals alerts when they might have leaks in their system, and TaKaDu, an Israeli company plugging leaks with sophisticated analytics.

EveryDrop is a more of a crowdsourcing solution. An app for reporting leaks, it’s aimed at individuals who feel compelled to do what they can during an extreme period.

“It allows someone from the community to identify issues, whether it’s a broken sprinkler head, or a leak somewhere,” says Andrew Kirk, at CitySourced, a civic mapping company in Los Angeles. “It’s about getting the citizens to volunteer that information.”

As a Los Angeles company, CitySourced felt it “needed to look at ways to conserve this precious resource that’s at a dangerously low level,” Kirk says.

You can learn more about the app in this video:

Three water authorities have agreed to promote and share the app, including Cucamonga Valley Water District and the Desert Water Authority, in Palm Springs. “It can drive home the point that we’re in a severe drought and we need to not unnecessarily use Master Blasters to clean driveways when a large broom or brush can do the same job,” Kirk says.


Kirk insists the app isn’t a “tattle-tale” tool–though you can see how it could be. Not that there’s anything wrong with that approach. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.