DOE Publishes Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Commercial Clothes Washers
On Tuesday, March 4, 2014 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking and a public meeting related to new energy and water conservation standards for commercial clothes washers. Learn more here.
On Saturday, March 1, 2014, California Governor Brown signed legislation to assist drought-affected communities and provide funding to better use local water supplies. “Legislators across the aisle have now voted to help hard-pressed communities that face water shortages,” said Governor Brown. “This legislation marks a crucial step – but Californians must continue to take every action possible to conserve water.” Learn more here.
Two Bills to Watch in the U.S. Congress
A plan to develop new water efficiency standards for federal and commercial buildings was unanimously approved by a key House committee on January 28. HR 2126, The Better Buildings Act of 2013, would require model energy efficiency standards and best practices for federal and commercial building leases, and was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee with an amendment by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) to include standards for cost-effective water efficiency. Learn more here.
Recognizing that vast amounts of water are used every day to produce vital fuels and to cool power plants in the U.S. while a great deal of electricity is needed to treat, transport and convey water across the country, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee released S 1971 Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability (NEWS) Act of 2014, a bipartisan bill which would create a committee within the National Science and Technology Committee to coordinate and streamline federal activities related to the management of this energy-water nexus. Learn more here.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency has won the 2014 U.S. Water Prize in the non-profit category. The prestigious award is given annually by the U.S. Water Alliance to organizations that engage in sustainable solutions and advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges. The prize was announced today at the California Irrigation Institute Conference in Sacramento, California. Learn more here.
A new guidebook from the Environmental Law Institute puts a twist on water policy development. Focusing on what influences success, rather than the policies and programs themselves, the guidebook lays out key factors that ultimately determine the success or failure of water initiatives in the Western United States. Learn more here.
The first-ever global water stress rankings by country have been created by the World Resources Institute's (WRI) Aqueduct team. The WRI rankings track water risk across 181 countries and 100 river basins, with 37 countries facing "extremely high" levels of water stress and using more than 80 percent of their available water supply every year. The top five countries are the Western Sahara, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and San Marino. According to WRI, there are a total of 19 countries with the highest water risk of 5, and 37 with a risk score between four and five (extremely high). Click here to see the water risk interactive map and full list.
There is a commonly held belief in the water industry that declining per capita usage due to water conservation is forcing rate increases to compensate for fewer units of volume billed. But the rate increases necessitated by conservation are actually much smaller than the rate increases that would be necessary to account for population growth in the absence of conservation. Learn more here.
The AWE Never Waste water bottle won 2nd place in the First International Carafe Contest on October 24, 2013 at the IWA Efficient2013 Conference in Paris. Vienna Water won first place. There were entries from countries all over the world.
Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard
The G480-13 Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard is a voluntary standard that can be adopted by water providers at their own discretion. The G480-13 standard describes the critical elements of an effective water conservation program and encompasses activities undertaken by a utility within its own operations to improve water use on the supply side through distribution system management and on the demand side through customer billing and education practices. Learn more here.
AWE has released an updated version of its Household Water Calculator, now adapted for water users in Canada using Canadian postal codes and climate data. The new calculator is also more accurate, compatible with tablets and smart phone use, and offers faster load times and a more intuitive interface to provide a more seamless experience for users. Learn more here.
Never Waste is a national campaign to build awareness about the impact of water waste and encourage consumers to make a measurable impact. The campaign quantifies the amount of water wasted in our daily lives by comparing it to an everyday object – a water bottle. Find out how you can join the Blue Revolution or participate as an AWE member. Learn more here.
AWE, with funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, assessed five representative industries within the Great Lakes watershed that are supplied with treated drinking water and that discharge to a local wastewater utility. Both water conservation savings and environmental benefits were documented. Learn more here.
In August 2012, AWE and The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread co-hosted a summit with water utility mangers, 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. A report including the summit results, as well as a detailed background framing paper, can be downloaded here.
AWE and the Environmental Law Institute have released the report entitled, The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies. The report presents results from a 20-question state survey that AWE conducted in 2011, funded in part by a grant from the Turner Foundation. The draft was released in April for public comment and the report is now in its final version. Click here to learn more and download a copy of the final report.