• Project Title: Analyzing Water Flow over Time to Incentivize Pro-Environmental Behaviors

  • BASIS Advisor: Mr. Vermouth

  • Internship Location: Qolsys, Inc.

  • Onsite Mentor: David Laone

As the precipitous decline in potable water as a vital natural resource threatens the viability of the growing human population, we, as citizens, must be held responsible for amending our own circumstances. The astonishingly high daily water consumption of the average American (approx. 100 gallons) elucidates a striking disparity between the reality of diminishing resources and meaningful awareness of our individual consumption. This Tragedy of the Commons can only be ameliorated by targeted incentivization of pro-environmental behavior in communities. I seek to develop such a platform for crowdsourced change through an interactive, sensor-based web application wherein users can view granular, contextualized information about their own water usage. With help from the hardware team at Qolsys, Inc., I will create an affordable sensor unit that monitors output from water appliances and updates relevant data to the cloud or another central database. I will then display this data in an interactive format to users in a study to investigate the optimal method of conservation incentivization. I expect to find community-based and extrinsic motivation to be most effective, as such a methodology would combine friendly competition and monetary reward to provide the appropriate benefit for the cost of behavior modification.