Our Work

The Alliance for Water Efficiency has undertaken significant workload, completed numerous projects and published research reports on a variety of topics related to water sustainability. Working independently and occasionally partnering with like-minded organizations, AWE strives to deliver in-depth information on these important subjects.

2017

Net Blue Logo smallerNet 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. 

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. 

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. 

 

2016 

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. 

End-User Tool: 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.

2015

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.

2014

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.

2013

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.

2012

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.

2011

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.

Pre-2010

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.