One of the largest issues humanity faces in the coming century is managing our ever-diminishing water supply. Water is used in everything from agriculture to power generation, and it’s easy to see that we can’t survive without a robust water system. But our current pace of water use is unsustainable, and we need to reduce our consumption and embrace a circular model in order to ensure a stable future.

What it does

WATR is a tool designed to help you understand your water usage. From your personal consumption to the water used by your county and state, WATR provides you with a comprehensive summary of your part in the water cycle

About your WATR score: Your WATR score, representing the inefficiency of your water consumption, is calculated as the sum of two scores: a personal score and a regional score. Your personal score depends on many factors, including your appliance use, clothing purchases, and hygiene habits. Most importantly, it depends on your diet—meat and dairy consumption is one of the greatest contributors to water overuse. Your regional score depends on your state’s efficiency in using the water it withdraws. States that use more water per resident, indicating more inefficiency, score higher than states that use less water. Higher WATR scores represent more waste, so you should work to lower your WATR score by making choices like decreasing your meat consumption or lowering your appliance usage.

How we built it

WATR was created using JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and CSS.

Challenges we ran into

We had issues using PHP to read our JSON files with regional data and struggled to push out a version that had working regional scores in time. In general, due to our relative inexperience linking our frontend HTML/JavaScript to our PHP, our bottleneck was quickly learning and applying these new principles.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of our success in implementing a system that uses a form to dynamically updates your score to match user-defined inputs.

What we learned

We improved our PHP skills and were able to learn much more about backend and full-stack development.

What's next for WATR

We will implement regional scores, using state- and county-level statistics gathered by U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) National Water Use Science Project.

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