Water Efficiency Watch is the
online newsletter of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, edited by Peter Mayer.
In this issue
of Water Efficiency Watch...
$50,000 Challenge Grant to Support
A $50,000 challenge grant has been awarded by a private
foundation to support AWE’s project work to create a national land use
ordinance that will help communities support sustainable growth by allowing
water offsets for new development. Every dollar contributed as match will go
200% toward to the goal of raising the overall $100,000 goal.
“We are very grateful for the receipt of this challenge grant,”
said President and CEO Mary Ann Dickinson. By raising the matching funds over
the next few months AWE will be able to ensure completion of this innovative
project. And because AWE is as a 501(c)(3), all contributions toward this
project will be fully tax-deductible under Federal IRS law.”
information on how to donate to this important project, click here.
Dickinson Elected GBI
The Green Building Initiative
(GBI) Board of Directors announced that it has elected Mary Ann Dickinson,
President and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, as a Director.
"The Alliance for Water Efficiency has joined the GBI board to help elevate
the importance of water efficiency in green building specifications. We are
grateful for the opportunity to be a part of GBI's excellent team of green
building industry leaders," said Dickinson about her appointment.
is no more respected water conservation authority in the US than Mary Ann
Dickinson,” said Jerry Yudelson, GBI President and the author of Dry Run, a
2010 book on water conservation for green buildings. "It’s a great benefit and
an honor for GBI to have her on our Board. We need her expertise to help us
craft building rating systems that appropriately focus on solutions to water
Mary Ann Dickinson is the President and CEO of the Alliance for
Water Efficiency, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the
efficient and sustainable use of water in the United States and Canada.
Headquartered in Chicago, the Alliance works with nearly 400 water utilities,
water conservation professionals in business and industry, planners,
regulators, and consumers. In 2014 the Alliance won the U.S. Water Prize in the
non-profit category for its work.
Prior to joining the Alliance in July
of 2007, Dickinson was Executive Director of the California Urban Water
Conservation Council. She has more than 40 years of water resources experience
and has worked at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, and the Connecticut
Department of Environmental Protection.
Learn more about GBI and the GBI Directors
Two AWE Water
Rates Workshops Set for January in California
Designing rates that provide stable
revenue while still sending customers an effective price signal to improve
efficiency is a tremendous challenge. Anyone involved or interested in utility
rate setting efforts should plan to attend one of AWE’s workshops on setting
conservation-oriented water rates that meet multiple objectives. The workshops
are part of AWE’s Financing
Sustainable Water initiative.
Learn from experts and peers. Water
utility finance and senior management, conservation departments, and concerned
citizens will find these workshops useful as well. The $25 per person, includes
lunch. The workshop schedule is as follows:
- PG&E Pacific Energy Center, San
- Thursday, January 15, 2015
- Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California, Los Angeles
- Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Learn more and get
registration information here.
Drought Response: $40 million Added to Southern California Rebate
In response to California’s record drought, Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California added $40 million to its conservation rebate
budget to keep pace with unparalleled public demand.
Recent rain has
been helpful, but it will take even more to quench the drought. If drought
conditions persist, the board could consider triggering an allocation plan in
the first quarter of 2015.
“By taking this action today, we are better
prepared to manage water shortages should the situation worsen.” said MWD board
Chairman Randy Record.
The decision to increase the district’s
conservation incentive budget from $60 million to
$100 million during
the ongoing drought marks the second time this year Metropolitan’s board has
boosted funding for water-saving rebates. Last February, the board added $20
Metropolitan’s conservation budget, which brought the total to
The combination of heightened public drought awareness, the
need to conserve and the expanded rebate options—particularly turf removal—has
generated extraordinary demand from consumers and businesses for water-savings
“We’ve never experienced anything like it,” said
Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger. “Last year, we spent a total of
$18.6 million on our entire conservation budget. Driven by the public’s response
to the increased turf removal incentive, overall rebate requests are already
more than nine times the total rebates paid last year.”
Congress Passes Water for the World Act with Strong
In an extraordinary bipartisan effort,
on December 15 the U.S. Senate approved the Senator Paul Simon Water for the
World Act of 2014 by unanimous consent. The Water for the World Act will build
upon the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, which established
access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a priority of America's foreign
The Water for the World Act is a cost-free approach with
potential positive impacts on health, food security and nutrition,
environmental quality, girls' and women's empowerment, and economic development
across the globe. It calls for an increase in monitoring and evaluation of
projects, particularly after the implementation phase, and ensuring that
programming is targeted to help the world's poorest. Learn
Conference - California Water: Are We Racing to the Bottom?
The California Irrigation Institute’s 2015 conference will be held
February 2-3, 2015 in Sacramento, CA. This year’s event will focus on the
monumental water management challenges facing California. Water is moving in
new ways and places due to ongoing drought, pivotal groundwater legislation and
a new water bond.
This event is an excellent opportunity to hear from
water leaders around California on strategies to manage precious water
supplies. Learn more and register
on New Plumbing Standards Closes 12/29/14
Just in time for the holidays, the
International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) has
opened a 20 day comment period on standards for the following products:
- Excess-Flow Shutoff Devices – applies to in-line water shutoff devices
such as leak detection and shutoff units.
- Hybrid Urinals with
High-Efficiency Drain-Cleansing Feature
- Performance Requirements for
LED Lights and Generators for Shower Heads, Hand-Held Showers, and
- Water Manifold Systems – for hot water heating systems.
- Dielectric Fittings
- Tileable Shower Receptors and Shower Kits
about each product category and submit comments here.
Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking for Residential Dishwasher Standards Issued
On Dec. 10, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued notice of
proposed rulemaking concerning energy conservation standards for Residential
Dishwashers. The notice also announces a public meeting will be held at the
DOE offices in Washington DC on Thursday, February 5, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m. EST. Webinar attendance
is offered. Documents
and info are available.
Draft Guidance on Test Procedures
for Residential Clothes Washers, Clothes Dryers, and Dishwashers
The DOE has issued a draft guidance concerning test
procedures for residential clothes washers, clothes dryers, and dishwashers.
Comment period on this draft document ends 1/1/2015. Get
more information and submit comments here.
Regarding Test Procedures for Commercial Clothes Washers Issued
In early December, the DOE published a final rule concerning test procedures
for commercial clothes washers - 79 FR 71624 . All notices, public comments, public meeting
transcripts, and supporting documents associated with this rulemaking are
included in Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-TP-0002.
WaterSense Releases Draft Specification for
Commercial Flushometer Valve Toilets
On December 18 EPA WaterSense released a
specification for commercial flushometer valve toilets.
Flushometer-valve toilets are typically found in commercial, institutional,
or industrial restrooms, in such places as airports, theaters, stadiums,
schools, and office buildings. These types of toilets have two main
components–the toilet bowl and the flushometer valve.
estimates that there are nearly 27 million flushometer–valve toilets currently
installed in the United States. Many of the older flushometer–valve toilets
currently installed use 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) or more—far more water than
the federal standard of 1.6 gpf. With many of these models reaching the end of
their useful life, replacing them with more efficient models could result in
significant water savings. If commercial facilities nationwide replaced all of
their older, inefficient flushometer–valve toilets with high–efficiency
versions, it would save an estimated 41 billion gallons of water per year.
With this draft specification, EPA is proposing a maximum flush volume of
1.28 gpf for both single–and dual–flush flushometer–valve toilets—a 20 percent
savings over the federal standard of 1.6 gpf. Like all WaterSense labeled
products, flushometer–valve toilets will be required to be independently
certified for performance to ensure they can handle typical commercial waste
Set for February in Northern California
The California Urban Water Conservation
Council will hold on February 26, 2015 an AMI (Advanced Metering
Infrastructure) Symposium which will provide an excellent opportunity to learn
about this metering and communication technology and how it can be used for
water conservation purposes. Additional topics include: economic
considerations, and practical advice from utility and industry representatives.
Attendees will have an opportunity to network with peers in round table
discussions. Receive up to three contact hours for California distribution or
treatment certifications. Learn
more and register here.
Proposed Desal Plant Rejected by NY Regulators
A proposed water-supply project by a Suez Environment
Co. (SEV) subsidiary for the first desalination plant on the Hudson
River north of New York
City was rejected this month by the state utility regulator.
York Public Service Commission instead ordered a study of alternatives at a
meeting in the state capital Albany. Suez, Europe’s second-largest publicly
traded water company, argued a plant in Haverstraw by its United Water unit
could meet a forecast surge in potable water demand for 1 cent a gallon (3.8
cents a liter).
“Due to changed circumstances, there was no longer an
immediate need for a new water-supply source,” the PSC said in a statement. The
project, first proposed in 2007, was based on a study the previous year that
“overestimated” current water use, commission staff reported in May, adding that
a water shortage may occur as early as 2020.
Costs for the 7.5
million-gallon a day plant, pumping station and water intakes were in the
$139.2 million to $189.3 million range. Learn
Re-Municipalization of Water Utilities: Market Trend?
Privatizing water supplies may be on the wane. According to the American
City and County e-newsletter, since 2003 various U.S. municipalities
(including Atlanta and Indianapolis) have reclaimed control of
their water supplies, ending public private partnerships (PPPs) in those
According to a new report, Troubled
Waters: Misleading industry PR and the case for public water, from the
Corporate Accountability International and the Public Services International
Research Unit, 33 cities have re-municipalized (or taken back control of) their
water systems – five in the past year. In 2014, 10 more have set the legal
wheels in motion to regain control. Globally, the number of cities
re-municipalizing water exceeds 100.
more and download a copy of the study here.
USBR WaterSMART Grants Due by January
Get those proposals ready. The United
States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) will be accepting grant application under
the WaterSMART program until January 23, 2015.
The USBR WaterSMART
Program focuses on improving water conservation, sustainability and helping
water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. It identifies
strategies to ensure that this and future generations will have sufficient
supplies of clean water for drinking, economic activities, recreation and
ecosystem health. The program also identifies adaptive measures to address
climate change and its impact on future water demands. Learn
Crisis: Groundwater Depletion Poses Serious Threat
Stahl, from CBS 60 Minutes program reported on disturbing new evidence that our
planet's groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be
View the 60 Minutes
Efficiency Stories of 2014
2014 was a big year for water
efficiency and AWE. Here are the top stories covered in Water Efficiency Watch
from the past year.
Finds 13% Reduction from 2005-2013
Water use in the United States in 2010 was estimated to be about
355 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 13 percent less than in 2005
and the lowest in 45 years, according the United States Geological Survey
(USGS). The new report from USGS, Estimated Use of Water in the United
States in 2010 provides useful detailed data, and found that total
withdrawals are at the lowest level since before 1970.
Drought Conditions Worsen
To cope with its deepening drought, the State of California adopted
on July 15, 2014 an emergency resolution and regulation which mandates minimum
actions by water providers to curb water waste and conserve water. Water
leaders in California became concerned when analysis
showed that voluntary demand management measures had not succeeded in cutting
demand. In spite of heavy rains which drenched the state in December, the
drought situation remains critical.
Passes WaterSense Legislation
More states are seeking to improve water efficiency by reducing
flush volumes and flow rates. On April 4, the Colorado Legislature approved
Senate Bill 103, phasing in the sale of WaterSense labeled water fixtures.
Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law. With this legislation,
Colorado joins Georgia, Texas, and California in mandating that only
high-efficiency, performance-tested fixtures be sold throughout the state. The
goal of this type of legislation is to help ensure that new homes and
businesses are built to be water efficient from the start and will save a
significant volume of water over time.
wins US Water Prize
The Alliance for Water Efficiency won the 2014 US Water Prize in
the non-profit category. The prestigious award is given annually by the US
Water Alliance to organizations that engage in sustainable solutions and
advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity
challenges. In announcing the award, AWE was described as a "leading force for
education and advocacy." The prize was awarded on April 7 at the National
Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC.
Vickers is 2014 Water Star
In October, the Alliance for Water Efficiency presented Amy
Vickers with its coveted annual Water Star Award, an award intended to reward
individual excellence in water efficiency. Vickers was honored for over 25
years of achievements in the water efficiency field. Amy Vickers is a
nationally recognized water conservation and efficiency expert, engineer, and
author of the award-winning Handbook of Water Use and Conservation. She is
also recognized as having spearheaded the inclusion of plumbing standards in
the 1992 U.S. Energy Policy Act, which has saved the nation trillions of
gallons of water over the past twenty years.
Launches Financing Sustainable Water initiative
In September, the Alliance for Water
Efficiency (AWE) launched Financing Sustainable Water, an initiative created to
help water managers build better rate structures that improve revenue
stability, yet encourage resource efficiency. Aimed at combatting the common
misperception that conservation makes rates rise, the Financing Sustainable
Water initiative was designed to provide helpful tools and data to water
managers, elected officials, and consumers.
issues NOI to label sprinkler nozzles
In an effort to reduce outdoor water use and add a significant new
product category to its water efficient line-up, WaterSense issued a Notice of
Intent (NOI) to develop a specification for landscape irrigation sprinklers.
Nationally, outdoor water use accounts for about 30 percent of average
household water use. The EPA hopes this NOI will complement the specification
for irrigation control technologies, as well as the ongoing work WaterSense is
doing with irrigation professionals.
Kopp succeeds Carole Baker as AWE Chair
The Alliance for Water Efficiency's guiding spirit, Board Chair
Carole Baker, stepped down after seven years leading the non-profit
organization. She left AWE in the capable hands of Kelly Kopp, a Professor
from Utah State University who served on the AWE Board of Directors since its
inception. Carole Baker, Executive Director of the Texas Water Foundation, has
been the AWE Board Chair ever since the organization was founded in January
2007. Her leadership put AWE on the map right out of the gate, and helped the
organization to raise seed funding, do meaningful work, and establish a basis
for future growth.
News Briefs and Web
How to Submit Content for Water
Water Efficiency Watch welcomes
submission of articles, photos, stories, commentary, new technologies, web
links, etc. Please e-mail your submission to Peter Mayer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: The Alliance for Water Efficiency reports on research and
information as a service. This should not be considered an explicit or implicit
endorsement of any product, service, research effort, analysis, etc. unless
specifically so indicated.