Welcome from the Chair of the AWE Board of Directors

Kelly Kopp, Chair, AWE BoardWhen the Alliance for Water Efficiency was founded in 2007, the organizations’ guiding principles acknowledged the myriad benefits and challenges associated with increasing water efficiency.  The potential impacts on future water supplies and infrastructure costs as well as the associated energy and climate impacts were recognized by the Alliance’s charter board of directors, a diverse group of individuals representing water utilities, environmental organizations, plumbing and appliance associations, irrigation manufacturers, the academic community, and government.

Today, the Alliance is a maturing organization working under the same set of guiding principles and we are more focused than ever on creating a North American perspective on water efficiency issues and challenges.  As we continue working toward our goals and objectives, we are also very proud of our accomplishments up to this point.

Since our founding, the Alliance has established a North American, and international, presence in water efficiency policy.  We have testified twice[1][2] before the U.S. Congress, drawing attention to the need for federal parity for water efficiency policy and funding based on our analysis of the new jobs and market benefits of water efficiency investments.  Related to water efficiency policy, we published the State Scorecard (2012), which ranks the U.S. states on the level of their water efficiency policies.

Our comprehensive online resource library continues to provide detailed information on water efficiency products and programs, while our conservation tracking tool assists member water utilities and communities in planning the most cost-effective water efficiency programs for their customer base and usage patterns.

We have also become leaders in the area of the water-energy nexus and published the Blueprint for Action (2011) and the Water and Energy Nexus Research reports (2012).  These reports have summarized the need for water-energy research and programs and are guiding joint efforts with non-profits in the energy sector.  Since the publication of these reports, Congress has introduced legislation on the water-energy connection to coordinate federal activities in this important area.

Over the past 7 years, the impact of water conservation on utility revenue loss has become a greater focus of water utilities.  In 2012, the Alliance facilitated a Summit of more than 30 leading utility finance managers, water rates experts, regulators and advocates to discuss the revenue issues surrounding changing demand for water, which is declining for a wide variety of reasons.  The meeting produced new thinking on how water rates might better reflect long-term costs and the risks associated with estimating demand in variable weather and economic conditions.  An additional Summit was held in April of 2013 to discuss a Rates Handbook and Model developed by the Alliance to address these difficult financial issues.

Despite these tremendous accomplishments, we recognize that our work is just beginning.  Outdoor water use, the energy water nexus, potable water use efficiency, utility distribution systems, and water pricing are all areas in which the Alliance’s services and expertise will help to produce actionable solutions long into the future and I look forward to the ongoing successes of the organization.

 

Signature-Kopp  
Kelly Kopp, PhD
Chair, AWE Board