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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

Grant Will Help Put Local Cos.’ Water-Saving Innovations to Work in S.D.

Two local startups that make water-saving technologies will benefit from a grant recently awarded to Cleantech San Diego, which will ultimately get the startups’ products into buildings and homes.

Cleantech San Diego, a member group that often supports startups developing eco-friendly technology, received a $160,000 from The San Diego Foundation. The money is meant to catalyze adoption of smart cities technology in San Diego County.

The two startups, HydroSmart Technologies and SenseOps, make software and “Internet of Things” products that can help manage water use. As part of the grant, the cash will be used by the City of Solana Beach and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to help pay for technology from the two startups.

“As our region faces growing pressures from drought and climate change, it is more important than ever for San Diego to explore new ways to manage our water wisely and sustainably,” said Nicola Hedge, director of environment initiatives at The San Diego Foundation.

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SenseOps at the airport

The Airport Authority, which operates the international airport, is pursuing a many water-saving activities since nearly 80 percent of its water use that does not require potable water.

In that effort, the Airport Authority will use part of the grant money to partner with SenseOps, which will install sensors in the airport that monitor water condensation on air handling units in buildings and jet bridges. The sensors will help building managers understand how much condensation is being captured, and draw connections between condensation, the weather, and building usage.

Building managers will then be able predict when and where water is available that could be used for power washing and irrigation, for example.

SenseOps will provide sensors, software, and predictive analytics for this project in partnership with Qualcomm Technologies and OSIsoft.

HydroSmart in Solana Beach

The City of Solana Beach will use some of the grant money to deploy a field trial of HydroSmart Technologies’ software — called the Smart Monitoring System Platform and related apps — that help homeowners monitor their water consumption.

Access to the information helps homeowners better understand their water use and flags water loss that might come from leaks. HydroSmart’s software can prevent leaks using neural network technology, and let homeowners know if things such as pipe-breaks or feeder hose bursts occur. When a leak is predicted, the system remotely shuts the water off and notifies the owner.

HydroSmart’s water data analytics will also allow the city to give homeowners customized suggestions (such as replacing fixtures, installing drought-friendly landscaping, or taking advantage water-saving rebates) depending on the homeowners water use.

“San Diego is an innovative and sustainability-minded region that is particularly vulnerable to drought,” said Jason Anderson, president and CEO of Cleantech San Diego. “Cleantech San Diego and our members are committed to helping advance opportunities for the public sector to tap into cutting-edge smart cities technologies — many created right here in San Diego — that benefit the economy and the environment by saving water, energy, and money.”


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