For years, U.S. businesses never really had to worry about water consumption. The price of water was constant and moderate — out of sight, out of mind.
But the tides have shifted, especially in drought-prone regions like Texas and California, where water costs are on the rise.
“[The energy industry] has become very sophisticated, and water is the next big issue,” said Gillan Taddune. “Water is where energy was 15 years ago, where customers don’t have the data and transparency they need to make smart decisions.”
Taddune launched Banyan Water in 2011 to help cut consumption of the world’s most valuable resource, all while saving money for colleges, Fortune 500 companies, landlords, retailers and the hospitality industry.
The company has built an IoT platform that monitors how much water flows through a property of any size, both inside and outside. This data provides critical insights into water saving opportunities. It also provides real-time alerts about water leaks anywhere in the country, which the Banyan Water team can shut down remotely.
Taddune said Banyan Water's outdoor solution has reduced water use for irrigation among its clients by as much as 50 to 70 percent.
“It’s quite a good technology, given how scarce water has become and will continue to be,” she said.
One of Banyan Water’s oldest clients is IMT Residential’s RIATA. Spanning 160 acres, it is the largest multifamily community in central Texas. In 2016, Banyan Water saved 47 million gallons of water for RIATA alone. That’s about equivalent to the water needs of 300 homes for an entire year.
Collectively, the company has saved more than 2.3 billion gallons of water — enough to meet the annual water needs of 16,000 households.
Despite this success, Taddune said that it’s been challenging to convince prospective clients of the importance of saving water.
“We’re new, and we’re at the forefront of this,” said Taddune. “A lot of our prospective customers, when we tell them that they could reduce outdoor water usage by 50 to 60 percent, they just don’t believe us. As the market continues to develop, we’ll see less hesitancy over that — especially as we get more and more customers online who can validate what we’re doing.”
To date, Banyan Water has raised $10 million from multiple investors. Taddune said the company plans to continue slowly growing its market presence by adding members to its sales teams in Austin and San Francisco.
“I think customers and businesses are just starting to ask the question about ‘What can I do about how I’m using water,'” Taddune said. “My vision is that in the next five to 20 years, everyone will say, ‘Okay we have a water policy at our company and this is what it is, this is how we’re conserving it, and this is how we’re tracking progress against that.”
Image provided by Twitter.