You Can Observe the Prius® Effect on Your Private Well


Private water well owners become more water conscious when they meter their water pumping or consumption.

By Gary L. Hix, RG, CWD/PI

A long-held hierarchy of knowledge follows the general pattern: observations> notations> data> information> knowledge, and ultimately => wisdom.

With each succeeding step, readings taken from basic observations and data collection we miraculously transformed these bits into knowledge and occasionally it can even rise to the level of wisdom. I call this transformation “the Prius® effect” taken with liberty from the dashboard indicators found on the popular and very efficient Toyota automobile by that name.

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If you have ever ridden in one of the newer model Prius® you would have noticed real-time data is being feed to a general indicator on the dash that tells the driver how fuel efficient their driving style is. The result of having the fuel efficiency data instantly available to the driver brings about a subconscious modification of driving behavior. The same is true, although maybe not scientifically documented, private water well owners become more water conscious when they meter their water pumping or consumption.

For several years I have been tracking the groundwater being pumped from my family domestic water well. Over the years a different number of people of vastly different ages have lived in the same home and I have been able to calculate the gallons per person per day as indicated by the water meter. I’m asked each month by family members: What was our average number of gallons per day last month?

Even though there is no legal requirement to conserve water in our area, or to meter our domestic wells, most private well owners are good enough stewards of their land to know wasting water is not good for the environment or good for their most precious investment—their home and aquifer.

I encourage all my friends and neighbors to put meters on their domestic wells for monitoring well performance and consumptive use. Once a meter is installed the Prius® effect takes over and they enjoy managing their wells with greater efficiently and more wisdom.

Gary L. Hix, RG, CWD/PI, is a registered professional geologist in Arizona, a Certified Well Driller/Pump Installer by NGWA, and a Certified Professional Geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists. He is past president of the Arizona Water Well Association and a former licensed water well contractor in Arizona. He has authored many articles on subjects related to well drilling issues for NGWA’s Water Well Journal. He can be reached at