Fresno 6th graders design water-saving app

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Five Riverview Elementary School students are making their mark at Fresno City Hall while hoping to help homeowners conserve water.

The hard-working school boys from Northeast Fresno just competed in an engineering competition among the brightest kids worldwide in St. Louis. They're pushing forward with their ingenuity here at home. The Fab 5 as they've dubbed themselves is designing a water conservation app for the city of Fresno.

"It's an app that shows you your daily water use," said Fab 5 Team Captain Jeffrey Forbes. "Because of that you can change and see if you're saving water. If you aren't you can try and save more water."

Forbes and three other boys were recruited initially by their friend Evan Murai to form the Fab 5 and compete in a robotics competition.

"It's kinda surprising because we didn't expect it to go through all of Fresno," Murai said. "So it's cool."

They thought up the water saving app after attending a water forum at Hoover High School last September when Fresno officials were trying to find solutions to the city's aging water infrastructure. The boys realized then the severity of the statewide historic drought.

"Boy, we are in serious trouble," said Kevin Murai, the Fab 5 coach. "They realized that, too. So that's when we said this is a good topic. This is something important for the state, not just the city."

Murai began guiding the boys. They even put together a presentation that caught the attention Fresno City Hall. They presented the idea of linking water meter data to users through the app to the city council.

"When the city manager said he likes the idea 'let's meet,' I was like woo," Murai said. "Yeah, let's do this!"

The excitement hasn't let up. The Fab 5 and the city are teaming up now with local tech company Bitwise, which they say is coding the app at a discount.

"We're going to meet with all the big businesses to try to fundraise to actually make our app happen," said Noah Arsitio.

The boys need to raise $50,000. But they're not afraid of the challenge. They're even trying to work incentives into the app, like giveaways or school competitions to get the entire family involved in saving water.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.