On Tuesday, May 14, in advance of their international SmartWater Forum conference on Miami Beach, The SmartWater Network (SWAN) Forum hosted a SmartWater hackathon at FIU. Ariel Auerbach, a CARTA Digital Media major, was on the team that earned second place in the Hackathon. After a successful event, six teams presented for the prize, half of these teams included FIU students.
The goal was also to study big data and its impact on society. Auerbach’s team research led to how New York City was able to reduce its water consumption by 30% since the 1990s despite booming population growth. NYC did this by identifying unmetered water users – locations where water service was provided, but there was no account. They used this insight to compare Miami-Dade Water and Sewer’s water usage data set with the Miami-Dade Property Appraisers dataset to identify locations where water service was provided without a meter. The team graphed their findings and earned second place.
The Water and Sewer Department of Miami-Dade County provided four years of water consumption data for use at the Hackathon. The data files were over 3 million records for each year– too big to be analyzed using regular data tools. Students used SPSS to analyze the data, a software package used for interactive, or batched, statistical analysis.
The SWAN Forum is an international organization for water managers and is concerned with issues related to water conservation, water quality, and efficiency. Miami Dade Water and Sewer donated 4 years of billing and usage data tied to a geographic location in conjunction with the hackathon.
CARTA’s Department of Journalism + Media’s own Digital Theory (DIG4800) course attended the hackathon.