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Author      Title/Abstract      

Get Connected! The Virtual Water Saver Home Web Site for Your Residential Customers
Author: Lisa Maddaus, Mary Ann Dickinson, Gerry Kiffe
Date: 1/104
2004 Water Resources Conference

The Water Saver Home is a web site that has been specifically developed for residential customers across the nation by the California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC) through grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Newly updated as the result of usability testing, the Water Saver Home will now provide the residential customer a more enhanced experience. This site has already benefited water utility public outreach campaigns everywhere in the United States, and these changes should increase customer interest. The web site has primarily been designed for the residential customers’ experience and provides information in an easy-to-use format with fresh, “flashy” graphics. At the same time, the site contains extensive, pertinent and accurate water efficiency data. This paper discusses the planning process used to redesign the site. It outlines the research conducted on the site’s “usability” through testing of users, and will further describe the changes made as a result. The presentation will provide a live demonstration of key features – especially to highlight the usability testing results, new Garden Gallery software, and other newly updated information within the revised Water Saver Home web site. These new updated and future planned features will further help conservation planners. Utilities may send customers to the site to gain knowledge on their indoor water use and landscape irrigation. Water conservation professionals should quickly see that this dynamic web site meets the educational needs of homeowners and renters. The Internet address for the web site is: Contact information for linking free-of-charge to the web site with a copy of the virtual home logo is available under the About Us area of the web site.