Smart City Water Sustainability

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Sponsors Itron, Inc.
Team Name H2WOAH
Duration 2018 - 2019
Faculty Adviser
  • Dr. Behnaz Rezaie
  • Tyler Young
  • University of Idaho Facilities
Team Members
  • Henry Hill
  • Clarice Gentillion
  • Conal Thie

The goal of the project is to create and implement a data acquisition system in a University of Idaho cooling tower. The system will consist of a variety of sensors and a master device. The sensors will be collecting data on air temperature, humidity, and water flow rate.

Problem Definition[edit]

Within the University of Idaho’s cooling towers, there is no way to measure water loss from evaporation. There is no way to determine how efficient our tower is performing. Furthermore, once a system to collect the evaporated water is put in place, there is no way to measure its effectiveness.


Water scarcity is becoming a serious issue. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be exposed to absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. This makes it a top priority to conserve and save water wherever it can be. Implementing a system that allows the user to view how much water a cooling tower is losing and how efficient they are at diminishing water loss is a crucial step towards lessening the affects of water scarcity.


  • System that pulls data from cooling tower sensors including humidity, air temperature, and water flowrate.
  • Web service that allows user to view data from sensors in human-readable form.
  • A series of steps with full documentation that explains how one could install the same system and acquire the same results.
  • Cooling Tower Design


  • All hardware that is to be installed in the cooling tower must be able to withstand a harsh environment.
  • Sensors should report data within a .5% range of error.
  • Sensors should report data within at least a range of once per 30 minutes.
  • Web service should allow user to download data in spreadsheet form.

Design Considerations[edit]

The overall design should be simple and easy to duplicate. It should also be easy to understand provided accurate documentation. The system should lend itself to upgrades/updates as new/better hardware is chosen to be installed. The system should also lend itself to expansion, specifically in this case, the ability to be expanded into a system that allows for automated controls or manual controls.

Project Learning[edit]

  • The creation and operation of a web service.
  • The inner workings of a cooling tower.
  • Professional relationships with clients/vendors/peer associates.
  • Formal documentation.

Final Design[edit]


Team Members[edit]


Major: Electrical Engineering
Responsibility: Programming master device, converting milli amp to an appropriate unit.

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Major: Mechanical Engineering
Responsibility: Converting mA to appropriate units for display, providing equations to solve for water loss.


Major: Computer Science
Responsibility: Programming master device, creation and design of H2Woah website.

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule


Meeting Minutes



Client Interview