Buoy attaches to a home water line and connects to Wi-Fi. As water flows through pipes, the system uses machine-learning algorithms to identify whether the water is going to a shower or sprinkler or washing machine. If there’s a leak, an app connected to the system gives the homeowner the option to shut off water remotely and call a plumber. If the system identifies that a large amount of water goes to a certain activity–such as watering a lawn–it can also help someone identify where to make strategic changes."
As pressure increases on traditional sources of water, and aquifers or reservoirs are drained, Waters envisions that Buoy could help enable a shift to new technology. Devices that harvest water from the air, for example, or greywater systems, are available now–but to use them, people need more data than a simple water bill provides.
“Let’s say I wanted to buy greywater for my house,” says Waters. “Just looking at my water bill isn’t enough. You have to know how much outdoor watering [you do] versus how much do you generate with showers and washing machines that could be used as greywater.”
Buoy is expensive: The technology, along with installation from a licensed plumber and a lifetime subscription to the service, costs $799.