In Your Community: AT&T and the Fab 5 Help California Get Smart on Water
By: Ken McNeely
Last week, in drought-stricken Fresno, California, a group of talented and innovative sixth grade students presented their vision for how technology can help create efficiencies in water conservation.
The team of five robotics students from Riverview Elementary School, nicknamed the “Fab 5,” wanted to improve the way people learn about water conservation. They researched, interviewed water experts, met with city officials and conceived an application to help local residents track their water use in real time using their mobile device.
AT&T has been a longtime champion of water conservation, creating and sharing tools that help to reduce water use. Last year, we reduced our water use in California by almost 10 percent, or approximately 70 million gallons. But I may be most proud of our support for the Fab 5’s water app. AT&T’s $25,000 contribution, along with support from the City of Fresno and the Fresno Chamber of Commerce Foundation, provides full funding to develop and deploy the app in the City of Fresno. Our commitment also jumpstarted additional fundraising efforts, now being led by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, to support a public education and marketing campaign to promote use of the app among residents.
Fresno has been particularly hard-hit by California’s historic and prolonged drought and there is no doubt that the community will benefit from the Fab 5’s water solution – especially as mandatory water restrictions soon begin to take effect across California. Fresno-based Bitwise Industries will work with the students to design and launch the app within the next 120 days.
Access to water is a critical issue in California and many water-stressed communities across the country. Reducing water use and promoting conservation is a priority for AT&T. We will continue to keep a focus on water, improving our own business operations, delivering water-saving tools to our customers, and supporting talented and forward-thinking groups like the Fresno Fab 5.