Our Work

The Alliance for Water Efficiency partners with our members and other organizations to produce the research, tools, resources, and information they need to advance water efficiency in their communities. Our work has helped water professionals seize new opportunities, uncover challenges, and break down barriers to achieve sustainable water use. To get involved and help define the work we do, join the AWE network today.


 /uploadedImages/AWE_Projects/Landscape Guide cover.jpgLandscape Transformation: Sustainable Landscapes: A Utility Program Guide  

This guide leverages the insights, lessons, and considerations gathered in AWE’s Landscape Transformation Study to provide actionable information for utilities beginning or enhancing outdoor water efficiency programs. The first part of the guide discusses general considerations for utility landscape programs. The second part presents four utility program types and offers advice and examples for each category. Additionally, appearing throughout the guide are detailed case studies of successful sustainable landscape programs from AWE members.

Practical plumbing handbookPlumbing: National Edition of Practical Plumbing Handbook 

CalWEP and AWE have updated and redesigned the Practical Plumbing Handbook, an excellent resource on how to repair and perform preventative maintenance on the fixtures in your home. The handbook is a member-only benefit and is available only in hard-copy form for distribution to consumers. 

Water Loss Supplement CoverLaw: State-Level Water Loss Laws in the United States 

This report focuses exclusively on the water loss portion of the 2017 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws. All 50 states were ranked based on state laws promoting water loss control. These ranks are displayed in a map, indicating which states have strong water loss control laws and where there is opportunity for improvement. Different topic areas within water loss control are described, including state funding for M36-compliant technical assistance, audit requirements, and leak detection and correction requirements. 


Landscape Transformation: Assessment of Water Utility Programs and Market Readiness Evaluation 

AWE’s Landscape Transformation study proves that urban landscapes represent a promising source of untapped water savings. Evaluation of utility programs demonstrated meaningful water and cost savings for utilities and customers. Additionally, survey findings show homeowners are ready for new landscape ideal, desiring beautiful, low-maintenance, and water-efficient landscapes.  


 AWE-CRB-CoverLaw: State-Level Water Efficiency and Conservation Laws in the Colorado River Basin  

This report takes a closer look at the results of the 2017 AWE report, "The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws" for the seven Colorado River Basin states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.  It recognizes successes, and identifies opportunities where laws and programs can be strengthened to advance the sustainable use of water in the Colorado River Basin.   

 Program Planning and Evaluation: Texas Municipal Water Conservation Planning Tool  

The Municipal Water Conservation Tool (MWCPT) is an Excel-based model developed to assist Texas water utilities with their water conservation planning and reporting, and regional water planning groups with development of their municipal conservation water management strategies.  It contains pre-loaded water demand projections for 462 Texas municipal water systems and includes a library of pre-defined water conservation measures.   

Avoided Cost Analysis: The City of Los Angeles Shows How Water Conservation and Efficient Water Rates Produce Affordable and Sustainable Use  

Are Los Angeles ratepayers better off by conserving water over the long term? That’s the question explored in this study released by the California Water Efficiency Partnership and Alliance for Water Efficiency in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.     

Law: The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws 

This research identified state-level laws governing two focus areas: water efficiency and conservation, and climate resiliency preparedness. All 50 states were surveyed, scored and graded based on verification of the survey responses. The national average for both focus areas is a “C” demonstrating there is still a long way to go to ensure safe, reliable water supplies for the future. 


Infrastructure Investment: Transforming Water: Water Efficiency as Infrastructure Investment  

A position paper examining the short-term economic growth impacts of water efficiency investments, specifically in terms of job creation, income, GDP, national output, water savings, and other benefits. The results demonstrate that the economic benefits of efficiency investments are comparable to other public infrastructure investments but with added advantages. 

CWPC-Stakeholder-Outreach-Report-Cover102x132Onsite Reuse: California Water Policy Challenge, Bridging the Gap Between Water Innovation and Regulation in California (Stakeholder Outreach in the State of California) [PDF] 

The Alliance and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission convened three stakeholder workshops on the topic of decentralized onsite non-potable water system and the development of a statewide policy. Feedback garnered during and directly following the workshops is contained in this report. Included is a copy of the draft model state regulation for onsite-non-potable water systems. 

Education: Good Question: Why are My Water Rates Going Up? Video  

A video explaining why water rates may be going up, even as we’re using less – and why conservation is a win-win for utility costs and customer wallets in the long term. 

Demand Management: Peak Day Water Demand Management Study Pilots Innovative Load Shifting System 

Study explores the viability of using remotely-controlled irrigation systems to reduce peak water demands and introduces a promising new approach. Analysis of historic irrigation patterns was undertaken to extrapolate the potential peak reduction that could be seen if this approach was implemented on a larger scale. 

Avoided Cost Analysis: Conservation Helps Keep Rates Lower in Two Arizona Communities 

Analysis of water use trends and avoided costs shows how long-term commitments to water conservation has helped minimize water rate increases by avoiding unnecessary costs that would be passed on to customers.
Net Blue: Water Offset Policies for Water-Neutral Community Growth 
Net Blue is a collaborative initiative to support sustainable community growth and develop a model ordinance communities can tailor to create a water demand offset approach that meets their needs. The Net Blue Ordinance Toolkit has been released, and can help communities pursue sustainable development without increasing overall water demands.

Indoor Plumbing Efficiency: Saturation Study for Non-Efficient Water Closets in Key States 

This study explores the potential water savings that could be achieved with water-efficient toilets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, and Texas; five key states that have either experienced or are on the verge of experiencing significant water shortages. In these five states alone efficient toilets could yield a total savings of up to 260 billion potable gallons of water annually, which affirms just how critical-water-efficient plumbing products are for water sustainability. 

CKG cover 125x161

Commercial Efficiency: Commercial Kitchens Water Use Efficiency and Best Practices Guide 

This best practices guide is designed for members of the commercial kitchens, food service, and hospitality industries.  It covers day-to-day best practices, case study summaries, and strategies for efficient management of the most common high-use equipment. The guide is available in U.S. and Canadian versions. 

This report walks utilities through the cost-benefit analysis process for packaged graywater reuse systems for single-family homes. The report includes easy-to-follow steps for determining the cost-benefit ratio, which gives utilities justification in choosing to include or exclude graywater systems from their program offerings. The Report is available in US and Canadian versions. 

Education: AWE Webinar Web Page 

This web page lists all of the Alliance webinars held since 2011, providing links to the presentations and video recordings. Subjects include drought; codes & standards; and demand hardening to name a few. 



Water Loss: Water Loss Control in the Great Lakes Region 

Water loss can be measured and managed through water loss audits.  Recent work on this issue in the Great Lakes Region has yielded some new resources to help utilities move through the steps of these audits. 

Program Planning and Evaluation: Water Conservation Tracking Tool 

The Tracking Tool is an Excel-based model that can evaluate the water savings, costs, and benefits of conservation programs for a specific water utility, using either English or Metric units.

Australia Drought Report Cover - USDrought: Managing Drought: Learning from Australia  

A report providing an overview of key events and initiatives implemented in Australia’s four largest cities. The strategies developed during Australia’s decade-long millennium drought provide a powerful resource.

Indoor Plumbing Efficiency: The Status of Legislation, Regulation, Codes & Standards on Green Indoor Plumbing Water Efficiency [PDF] 

This paper advocates for the incorporation of higher minimum performance and efficiency requirements for indoor plumbing into legislative, regulatory, and codes and standards initiatives.

Codes/Standards: AWE Codes & Standards webpage  

This resource library webpage lists information on codes and standards as well as links to the latest research on this important topic.


Demand Hardening: An Assessment of Increasing Water-use Efficiency on Demand Hardening  

A research report assessing the impacts of increasing water-use efficiency on demand hardening. The report discusses whether consumer demand can be “hardened” by the continued pressure of demand management programs.

Utility Recognition: G480 Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard Leaderboard  

The G480 Leaderboard recognizes exemplary water utilities that have adopted and complied with the voluntary G480 Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard.

Outdoor Water Savings: Outdoor Water Savings Research Initiative: Phase 1 - Analysis of Published Research  

A report detailing the research compiled to date and identifying where the gaps in the research occur. The report is the first step in AWE’s project to help clarify what programs, practices, ad irrigation technologies save the most water.

WWYPF Logo(1)Education: "Water: What You Pay For" Video  

A video explaining the water service a typical residential water bill covers, and the costs of delivering a consistent, reliable flow of safe and affordable drinking water to customers.


Drought: Considerations for Drought Planning in a Changing World [PDF] 

This paper explores drought planning in a changing world and highlights important considerations to be included in the process.

FSW Logo-SmRates: Financing Sustainable Water Initiative  

An initiative of AWE, created to provide practical information to guide utilities from development through implementation of rate structures that balance revenue management, resource efficiency and fiscal sustainability.

Market-Based Strategies: Sustainable Utilities: Financial Instruments to Manage Weather-Related Risk  

A white paper examining market-based strategies, such as derivatives and insurance, which are available to water managers and can be applied to help them mitigate the revenue risks associated with unpredictable weather.


Avoided Cost Analysis: Conservation Limits Rate Increases for a Colorado Utility: Demand Reduction Over 30 Years Have Dramatically Reduced Capital Costs  

An article that presents an analysis of water use trends and avoided costs in the City of Westminster, CO.

neverwaste_logo_color_rgb-325x115Education: Never Waste: A National Campaign to Build Awareness  

A national campaign from AWE that aims to raise awareness about the amount of water we waste in our daily lives and encourage consumers to take action to reduce water waste.

Water/Energy: Water-Energy Nexus Research: Recommendations for Future Opportunities  

AWE assembled a working group to explore ongoing and prospective research regarding the water-energy nexus. Of specific concern is the amount of water needed for and thus “embedded” in electric power generation and the amount of energy “embedded” in drinking water treatment and pumping and wastewater treatment and pumping.


Industrial Efficiency: Assessing the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Industrial Water Use Efficiency within the Great Lakes Region  

An assessment of five representative industries within the Great Lakes watershed that are supplied with treated drinking water and that discharge to a local wastewater utility.

hww picConsumer Website: Home Water Works 

This website was created to give consumers the best and most relevant information about conserving water at home, and offers water saving tips and information about every major water-using fixture and appliance found in homes today.

Consumer Tool: Home Water Usage Calculator  

As part of Home Water Works, a powerful tool for estimating where water is used in your home. Answer a few simple questions and the calculator quickly estimates how much water is used for toilets, showers, clothes washers, faucets, dishwashers, and even leaks.

Rates: Declining Water Sales and Utility Revenues: A Framework for Understanding and Adapting  

A work product stemming from a gathering of water utility managers, rate experts, price regulators, economists, and advocacy groups to explore the issues surrounding declining water sales, utility revenue losses, and the impact on conservation programs.

State Scorecard Final Cover SmLaw: The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies  

This research effort identified state level water efficiency and conservation policies and laws throughout the 50 states, and graded the states based on its findings.


Water/Energy: Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: A Blueprint for Action and Policy Agenda  

A blueprint for future joint efforts and to envision a policy agenda that could drive actions at the federal, state, local, and watershed levels. The blueprint addresses three broad elements: policy/codes, research, and programs.

Instream Flows: Water Efficiency for Instream Flow: Making the Link in Practice  

A project to outline the practical possibilities for linking water efficiency efforts and healthier instream flows in the Colorado River basin.

Rates: Water Pricing Primer for the Great Lakes Region  

Water pricing plays a central role in water resource stewardship and sustainability, and is a key element in water conservation programs. This primer provides an introduction to key principles and concepts of ratemaking.


Economic Stimulus: Creating Jobs & Stimulating the Economy Through Investment in Green Water Infrastructure (2009)  

A white paper demonstrating how investment in green infrastructure and water efficiency retrofit projects will have a significant stimulus effect on local, regional and national economies.

Economic Stimulus: Transforming Water: Water Efficiency as Stimulus and Long-Term Investment (2008) 

A position paper showing that water efficiency programs yield jobs, water savings and other economic benefits, and will be a cost-effective investment to consider for the stimulus package.

Historical: Developing a Framework for an Alliance for Water Efficiency [PDF] (2005) 

This report and the project it describes sprang from a central premise -- that most communities across the country would benefit from higher levels of investment in water efficiency, and if true or even partially true, then there is a need for a national water efficiency organization.