How Smart Devices Can Lead the Charge in Water Conservation

by | Apr 27, 2024 | Water Conservation

Boston Harbor waters

Photo by Jimmy Woo on Unsplash

Boston, the historic heart of New England, prides itself on its rich culture, vibrant communities, and…well, sometimes unpredictable weather.

But beneath all the natural Bostonian charm lies a crucial resource facing increasing pressure: water. As climate change intensifies and the population grows, implementing innovative solutions for water conservation becomes more critical than ever. Thankfully, Boston is embracing the future with smart homes leading the charge.

The Challenge of Water Consumption

Despite bordering the Atlantic, Boston isn’t immune to water scarcity. The city relies primarily on public water sources, which can become strained during droughts. In 2016, for instance, the state implemented mandatory water restrictions due to low reservoir levels. Then, only 4 years later, the Quinapoxet Reservoir was shut down due to dangerous low levels from the lack of rain combined with excessive use of water – which led the reservoir pumps to be shut down.

The fact of the matter is that, beyond it being a water concern, this is an environmental concern that affects every one in the Greater Boston area that receives water from either the Quabbin or Quinapoxet reservoirs.

Thankfully, there are several creative and smart device solutions that should enable us, beautiful Bostonians, to conserve water and save money while enjoying the many riches environments that surround us.

I will now discuss the several smart device solutions for water conservation, what exactly they do, how they do it, and why more Bostonians should start to embrace the positive impact these smart devices can have.

Next-level Irrigation Systems

It’s a wonderful feeling to see your lush green lawn come back to life come spring time, but there’s a water cost attached to all this beauty. And, unfortunately, traditional sprinkler systems can be quite inefficient in watering, even when the ground is already moist – causing great frustration and confusion when your lawn isn’t looking its best.

This is where smart irrigation systems shines, because they use weather data and soil moisture sensors to adjust watering schedules automatically. This is perfect because it ensures your lawn gets the exact amount it needs to grow beautifully – which also minimizes water waste.

More Efficient Appliances

Nowadays, many modern dishwashers come equipped with water-saving features that “use about three to four gallons of water compared to up to 27 gallons when the same amount of dishes by hand, ” says Jeremy Tompson of YouthfulHome. This incredible technological innovation allows consumers to use less water, save in costs, and open up some well deserved time for other, more important, responsibilities.

The same can be said for many modern washing machines that are ENERGY STAR certified or HE (High-Efficiency). On average, such washers use 14 gallons of water per load compared to 20 gallons for standard washers.

But truth be told, this also affects what type of detergent you’ll be using; meaning you won’t be able to your regular liquid detergents, unfortunately. And instead, you’ll be using specially formulated HE detergents in order to reduce the amount of suds and potential water leaks.

Now, the “smart” part of these complex modern systems is their ability to analyze the size and load of laundry or dishes, and adjusting water usage accordingly. This not only conserves water but also reduces your energy consumption. Plus, whether you’re away at home or vacation, these systems can also be controlled from the convenience of your phone.

Greater Monitoring Capabilities

Smart home dashboards such as Flume’s Smart Home Water Monitor, or Stream Labs’ Water Leak Monitor, provide residents with a clear picture of your water usage as well. This allows you to identify areas for improvement, like overly long showers or inefficient appliances. By visualizing your water footprint, you can become more conscious of certain habits and adjust accordingly.

SmartLabs’ Water Leak Monitor, for example, requires no pipe cutting and simply connects to the home’s existing pipes; using ultrasonic technology to find leaks. There’s no greater convenience when it comes to installation, and the rewards of finding water leaks early can truly transform your home into the safe haven it is meant to be.

Tools Can Only Take Us So Far

While smart technologies offer a powerful toolkit, a fundamental shift in water usage habits is crucial. Educational campaigns at schools and promoted by the city can help reshape our understanding of our water sources as well as water usage. Institutions such as the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, for example, offers residents the opportunity to request a conservation kit and also tips for lawn, garden care, and indoor use!

Additionally, Boston can follow the lead of other cities by offering rebates or financial incentives for residents who install smart water-saving devices. Such new practices can seem intrusive and inconvenient, at first, but we must all remind ourselves that all natural resources we utilize today are limited – especially water.

A Sustainable Future for Beantown

Smart homes are leading the way in water conservation, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. By combining innovative technology with a focus on water awareness, Boston can create a sustainable future for its residents and this precious resource. As the iconic Charles River flows through the heart of the city, let’s ensure it continues to do so for generations to come.

Beantown can become a model for sustainable water management, one smart home at a time.


American Whitewater – Quinapoxet. (n.d.). American Whitewater . Retrieved April 25, 2024, from–IH40f0Cs_kpshLl5SzPd0zOzl0E

Conservation Tips & Kits | Boston Water and Sewer Commission. (2024, March 2). Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from

Flume Water | Smart Home Water Monitor | Water Leak Detector. (2023, December 11). Flume. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from

Leverette, M. M. (2022, October 11). What Are High Efficiency Washers? The Spruce. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from

Mass. reservoir shut down after water levels get too low. (2020, October 15). WCVB – Boston’s News Leader. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from

One-third of Massachusetts cities, towns under water restrictions. (2016, July 25). WCVB – Boston’s News Leader. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from

Quabbin Reservoir. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2024, from

StreamLabs Monitor – Water Leak Detector. (n.d.). StreamLabsWater. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from

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Written by Yuri Silva

Assistant Operations Coordinator @ Gary Streck Design Build