Saving Money with Water Management
- Apr 28, 2014
By Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor
Water management is an important aspect for property managers to keep an eye on at multifamily communities. MHN recently interviewed Chris Spain, president and CEO of HydroPoint, about their product WeatherTRAK, a cloud-based landscape irrigation management system, and how this could end up saving multifamily communities money.
MHN: Describe HydroPoint. What is WeatherTRAK?
Spain: HydroPoint is the established leader in smart water management solutions for the last mile targeting the area of greatest waste in urban water use—landscape irrigation. We offer WeatherTRAK®, the industry’s preeminent smart irrigation system for commercial, municipal, and residential landscapes for over a decade now with over 24,000 smart controllers installed at leading organizations across the United States, including with such multifamily housing management groups as Greystar, Aimco, BRE, Shea and many more. We’ve been around since 2002 spearheading the development and adoption of smart irrigation solutions and are proud to say that our WeatherTRAK system has been called by many the ‘green initiative with the fastest payback.’
MHN: How does it work?
Spain: WeatherTRAK relies on the most accurate, high-resolution weather data—without the hassle or cost of an on-site sensor or weather station—to take the guesswork out of daily water scheduling. It uses a combination of easy-to-use, plug-and-play controllers installed at each site supported by our WeatherTRAK Central™ Internet management software offering everything from automated, precision water scheduling to real-time alerts, graphical asset mapping, budget management and smartphone support.
MHN: How do multifamily properties benefit from this?
Spain: Recently we won an award from a leading Southern California-based property investment group, The Irvine Company, which I think best sums up what WeatherTRAK can do for multifamily properties. It was the “Best Savings Impact” vendor award recognizing how we helped them not only save water but also hundreds of thousands of dollars in associated savings last year. In all of 2013 we helped thousands of customers save 20 billion gallons of water but because of that, we also helped them save 77 million kilowatt hours of power and millions of dollars in operating expenses while avoiding increasing water penalties, reducing tenant complaints and improving curb appeal and property value. We have numerous multifamily customers that will confirm if you choose the right smart irrigation system, you will realize maximum water savings, operational efficiency, and risk reduction generally with an 18- to 24-month payback.
MHN: How much could communities save if they use this?
Spain: According to the Irrigation Association, the average community is overwatering their grounds by approximately 30 percent, a critical statistic when you look at increasing water scarcity and rates—a trend that’s only going to get worse. WeatherTRAK has been proven in over 25 independent studies to save more water than any other solution—up to four times more—which means it’s proven to deliver the greatest savings year after year. As just one multifamily example, Aimco, a major REIT based in Denver, saved 2 million gallons of water in just 120 days across a smaller, four-site pilot. Today they have more than 450 WeatherTRAK controllers installed across 130 properties in Utah, Texas, Arizona and California. If an organization would like to get a feel for the type of savings they could realize using WeatherTRAK, we offer an online Savings Calculator on our website.
MHN: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Spain: Many property managers are looking to green solutions today because they’re striving to achieve more sustainable practices, but also because of the inherent cost savings that many of these products offer. The problem is, so many are focused on the perceived big-money concerns—energy and waste—or look only indoors that they may fail to take the savings potential of their outdoor properties into consideration. This is where we believe managers can realize the “forgotten eco-savings” of landscape irrigation.