The worst drought in a century is currently afflicting California, but utilities and developers are fighting back with technological solutions that take advantage of big data and cloud computing. For example, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is using cloud-based software made by WaterSmart to analyze the water usage of its customers. That has enabled them to send "report cards" to customers who use more water than their neighbors, which has then inspired household to cut back on their water use.
Entrepreneur Brinkley Warren is also encouraging people to use technology to combat the drought. He launched "Hack the Drought," a hackathon-style movement that aims to get people thinking about possible solutions. "The idea is to find other people who are much better than me to become leaders and go forth with it," said Warren.