AUSTIN, Texas — A collaboration of Texas universities and water providers announced it is launching a statewide research and development effort centered on water conservation technologies, according to a press release.

The effort includes a water technologies incubator, a commercialization lab concentrated on emerging technologies and a statewide research testbed, which will involve hundreds of households throughout Texas and generate data on customer water use, stated the release.

The collaboration, the University Municipal Water Consortium, is a joint effort of more than 25 local, regional and state water providers and university researchers from University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas A&M, continued the release.

The consortium, led by Pecan Street Inc., plans to purchase equipment and operate in an R&D testbed in homes throughout Austin, Killeen, Arlington, El Paso, East Rio Hondo, San Antonio and Houston, and the expansion into additional communities within Texas as well as other states is likely, reported the release.

“Growing populations and drought are threatening water supplies from California to Florida,” said Pecan Street CEO Brewster McCracken. “Our members have joined together to develop and test promising hardware and software solutions so we can ensure that utilities, communities and customers have access to data-driven information and cost-effective innovations.”

Pecan Street Inc., founded in 2009 through seed funding from UT-Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, is an independent, nonprofit institute focused on utility sectors, noted the release.

Read the entire release here.