Water Efficiency Watch is the
online newsletter of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, edited by Peter Mayer.
In this issue
of Water Efficiency Watch...
AWE Co-Moderates White
House Roundtable Discussion on Stretching Water Supply
AWE co-moderated a December 15 White House Roundtable Discussion
on water innovation and stretching current supplies. AWE President and CEO
Mary Ann Dickinson co-moderated a discussion with Deputy Under Secretary for
Natural Resourses and Environment, Ann Mills, on stretching our current water
This dialogue touched on the opportunities for water
efficiency across residential, commercial and agricultural sectors, as well as
how the United States can accelerate adoption of these innovations, and the
anticipated barriers to their implementation. Other topics of discussion
included: Increasing innovation in water technology and markets, current and
future water supply challenges, and technology as a solution. In conjunction
with the Roundtable, The White House released a report highlighting its new
water innovation strategy. Get
the full report on the discussion here.
The United States is
further addressing water issues with the White House Water Summit, to be held
on United Nations World Water Day, March 22, 2016. This summit aims to raise
awareness of water challenges and devise potential strategies to help build a
sustainable and secure water future for the United States. The White House
is inviting organizations to highlight steps being taken to address issues
such as drought or flooding, water availability or quality, water-use
efficiency, water security, relevant ecological concerns, or other topics
pertaining to America’s water future. Learn
more about the event here.
2015 Was Hottest Year Ever Recorded…by A Lot
Scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(NCAR) have announced that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by
far, breaking a record set only the year before — a burst of heat that has
continued into 2016 and is impacting weather patterns all over the world.
As reported in the New York Times, in the continental United States, the
year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both
the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a
wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River
Scientists started predicting a global temperature record
months ago, in part because an El Niño weather pattern, one of the largest in
a century, is dumping an immense amount of heat from the Pacific Ocean into
the atmosphere. But the bulk of the record-setting heat, they say, is a
consequence of the long-term planetary warming caused by human emissions of
“The whole system is warming up, relentlessly,”
said Gerald A. Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric
Research in Boulder, Colo.
It will take a few more years to know for
certain, but the back-to-back records of 2014 and 2015 may have put the
world back onto a trajectory of rapid global warming, after period of
relatively slow warming dating to the last powerful El Niño, in 1998.
Politicians attempting to claim that greenhouse gases are not a problem
seized on that slow period to argue that “global warming stopped in 1998”
and similar statements, with these claims reappearing recently on the
Republican presidential campaign trail.
suggested all along that the claims were false, and the slowdown was, at
most, a minor blip in an inexorable trend, perhaps caused by a temporary
increase in the absorption of heat by the Pacific Ocean. Read
the full story here.
AWE Welcomes Five New Board Members
The Alliance for
Water Efficiency Board of Directors is welcoming five new Directors of AWE to a
3-year term expiring in 2018.
“The Alliance is thrilled to welcome these
accomplished and highly qualified leaders to our Board,” said Mary Ann
Dickinson, President and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. “As the
Alliance expands our work to address immediate scarcity challenges and to
sustain water supplies for the future, we must continue to create bridges
between all stakeholder groups involved in the management of our water
resources. These Directors are leaders from the utility, policy, academic,
non-profit and private sectors and bring to the Alliance mission strong track
records of implementing collaborative and innovative solutions.”
The new AWE Directors are:
Tom Heikkinen - General Manager of the City of
Madison Water Utility. Tom provides executive leadership and direction over
all aspects of water utility operation serving a city of 240,000 people. He
has instituted numerous innovative initiatives, including a utility-wide
Advanced Metering Infrastructure and industry-leading public outreach and
water conservation program.
Silva - President of Silva-Silva International, an engineering
consulting firm specializing in water resources management in San Diego, CA.
Pete brings nearly 40 years of professional experience in the water and wastewater fields, including expertise in
US-Mexico trans-border water issues. He has been appointed by two CA
Governors to terms as Vice-Chair of the Water Resources Control Board. He has
also received two presidential appointments, including one by President
Barack Obama to the post of EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of
Monty Simus - Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Water
Politics, a leading geopolitical risk advisory and consulting firm dedicated
to the analysis of the environmental, political, social, security and
economic issues related to the scarcity of, competition over, and sharing of
limited freshwater resources. Monty is currently a Senior Advanced
Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard focusing on research related to the
water-energy-food nexus, and recently founded AgResilience, an innovative
technology company committed to improving water availability and boosting food
security in developing/emerging countries.
Jennifer Walker - Water Resources Program Coordinator for
the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Jennifer focuses on statewide water
policy issues with an emphasis on state and regional water planning, water
conservation, demand management, and bay and estuary protection issues. She
serves on various water conservation and efficiency focused committees and task
forces in Texas, including the Austin Integrated Water Resource Planning Task
Force, of which she is the Vice-Chair.
Carol Ward-Morris - Assistant Director of the
Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA). Carol has been an advocate
for cost-effective water efficiency in Arizona since 1996. She is
responsible for the development, evaluation, management, and advancement of
AMWUA's regional water conservation, efficiency, and sustainability efforts
and serves as alternate co-chair of the Municipal and Industrial
Conservation and Reuse Workgroup of the Moving Forward
In 2015, the Alliance Board also expressed deep appreciation to
Carole Baker, who is transitioning off the Board, for
her eight years of service and contributions as Alliance Board Chair. Ms.
Baker is the President and CEO of the Texas Water Foundation.
Water Use In
Madison, WI Lowest in 47 Years
Madison, Wisconsin has 81,000 more people than it had in 1968, but
data show the city is using about the same amount of water. In 2015, for the
first time in 47 years, annual water use in Madison dropped below 10 billion
gallons as the Madison Water Utility pumped 9.98 billion gallons of water from
our aquifer to homes, schools and businesses across the city. In 1968, that
number was about 9.5 billion.
Keeping annual demand under 10 billion
gallons per year marks a major conservation milestone for Madison. In 2001,
water use peaked at more than 12 billion gallons per year. But since then,
thanks to more efficient appliances, toilets, plumbing fixtures and industrial
equipment, along with more sustainable outdoor watering practices, water use
in Madison has been reduced. Madison Water Utility has also been working
hard to encourage conservation through its popular Toilet Rebate Program,
which has been estimated to have saved more than a half billion gallons of
water since 2009. The utility recently launched its web-based conservation
tool that allows customers to track their weekly, daily and even hourly
water use online. MWU was the first water utility in the Midwest to bring
that kind of detailed usage data directly to customers.
Approves $3.2 Million for Water Loss Control Collaborative
The California State Water Resources
Control Board has authorized approximately $3.2 million in Drinking Water
State Revolving Fund Local Assistance set-aside funds to establish a Water
Loss Control Collaborative, a statewide water loss control program intended
to make the state’s water management system more efficient and
The resolution authorizes $400,000 to assist urban retail
water suppliers in preparing and validating water loss audit reports as
required by California’s new water loss control legislation - SB 555 and
another $2.8 million to implement Phase 1 of the Water Loss Control
Collaborative to be led by the California-Nevada Section, American Water
Works Association. Implementation of Phase 1 will take place over a
three-year period and involve 460 urban water retail suppliers. CA-NV AWWA
membership funds will be used to fund future years of the program.
27 Webinar - Demand Hardening: Is It a Real Problem?
AWE will conduct a webinar entitled: Assessing Increasing
Water-Use Efficiency on Demand Hardening: Is it a Real Problem? The webinar
will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. CST. Dr. Anil Bamezai,
Author and Research Consultant for AWE's report, An Assessment of
Increasing Water Use Efficiency on Demand Hardening, will be presenting
along with AWE President & CEO Mary Ann Dickinson. Learn
more and register here.
WaterSense Releases Final Specification for Flushometer
In late December, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense® program released its final
specification for flushometer-valve toilets. Also known as flushometer-valve
water closets, these toilets are used primarily in commercial and
institutional applications (e.g., office buildings, schools, airports,
EPA estimates that there are about 7 million
flushometer-valve toilets currently installed in U.S. commercial and
institutional facilities that flush at volumes higher than the federal
standard of 1.6 gpf, some as much as 3 to 7 gpf.
The EPA specification sets a maximum flush volume of 1.28 gallons
per flush (gpf) for both single- and dual-flush flushometer-valve toilets,
which is 20 percent less water than the federal standard. If a business
replaces just one old, inefficient flushometer-valve toilet with a WaterSense
labeled model, it could save nearly 5,500 gallons of water per year.
In response to concerns raised about potential issues with the ability of
very low flows to transport waste in some buildings, the specification also
includes a minimum flush volume of 1.0 gpf, which is applicable to all
modes of a flushometer-valve toilet, including the reduced flush of a
dual-flush flushometer-valve toilet.
With this new specification, a
commercial facility manager can now double their water savings by looking
to replace both their flushometer-valve toilets and flushing urinals with
models that have earned the WaterSense label. WaterSense labeled flushing
urinals use no more than 0.5 gpf, half the federal standard of 1.0 gpf.
Based on typical use, a business can save more than 4,600 gallons of water
per year or more by replacing an older inefficient model that uses 1.5 gpf
with one that is WaterSense labeled.
WaterSense expects labeled
flushometer-valve toilets to enter the market in early 2016. Learn
Begins Flushometer-Valve Certification for WaterSense
IAPMO R&T, a third-party certification body for plumbing, mechanical, and
water treatment products, has earned approval to begin certifying
high-efficiency flushometer-valve water closets to the U.S. EPA’s new final
specification for the WaterSense® consumer product-labeling program.
Flushometer-valve toilets are typically found in commercial, institutional,
or industrial restrooms and have two main components – the toilet bowl and the
flushometer valve. IAPMO R&T can provide independent certification to
prospective WaterSense®-labeled models that meet the EPA’s water-efficiency and
performance criteria, ensuring “both sustainable, efficient water use and a
high level of user satisfaction with flushing performance.”
R&T has been a licensed provider of WaterSense® certification since 2007,
certifying the first high-efficiency toilet (HET) to the standard in April of
that year. To date, IAPMO R&T has certified thousands of lavatory
faucet, urinal, and showerhead models to the WaterSense®
“We are excited to offer certification to the latest
EPA WaterSense specification,” said Anish Desai, Vice President of Product
Certification for IAPMO R&T. “Manufacturers of flushometer-valve water
closets already trust IAPMO R&T for their certification needs, and we
look forward to providing this additional valuable service.”
Seeks Funding for Two Outdoor Water Savings Studies
AWE is seeking funding to undertake two new
study topics on outdoor water use: Quantifying the Water Savings from
Landscape Transformation Programs; and Quantifying the Water Savings from
Drought Outdoor Watering Restrictions. RFPs have been drafted for each topic,
and funding is now being solicited from study partners. Learn
more about participating here.
California Irrigation Institute Conference
Irrigation Institute will hold its 54th annual conference on January 25-26,
2016 at the Hilton Arden-West in Sacramento, California. Technical and policy
experts will meet to discuss "California's New Water Realities: Solving the
Puzzle." As California's drought continues to worsen, the conference will
explore and discuss new water management strategies to cope with the increasing
pressure on water use. The conference is attended by agricultural, urban and
environmental interests including water districts, farmers, irrigation
manufacturers, associations and government agency representatives.
special treat is the featured luncheon speaker Cynthia Barnett, award winning
journalist and author of Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water
Crisis and Rain. Learn more and register here. http://www.caii.org/?page_id=76
John Koeller Named IAPMO
Green Professional of the Year
John Koeller, P.E., Principal of Koeller and Company and longtime
advisor to the Alliance for Water Efficiency has awarded the prestigious IAPMO
Green Professional of the Year Award for 2015.
Koeller is consultant
to numerous North American water authorities and private sector firms and
is the codeveloper of Maximum Performance testing for water-efficient
products, an initiative designed to raise the bar on product performance and
long term reliability.
A member of six different ANSI U.S. national
plumbing standards committees, where he represents AWE and the water utilities’
efficiency interests, Koeller is the past vice-chair of the LEED Water
Efficiency Technical Advisory Group for the U.S. Green Building Council.
Since 2006, he has been an advisor and consultant to the U.S. EPA’s
WaterSense program, for which he evaluates and recommends the latest product
designs and technologies for future labeling by the program.
has worked integrally with various IAPMO business units for decades,
including the IAPMO Standards and Code Development departments, IAPMO
R&T Lab, and in the development of codes and standards provisions and
test requirements specific to water efficient products.
Congratulations to John Koeller, a most deserving recipient of IAPMO’s
2015 Green Professional of the Year.
New Report: Drought, Technology and Agriculture:
Increasing Water Efficiency and Yield through Technology
In September 2015, AWE CEO Mary Ann Dickinson participated in a meeting
of 45 expert level decision makers at the headquarters of the California
Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau). The meeting was designed to explore
how technology might be better used and deployed to improve water
efficiency, yield and profit for California farmers and ranchers.
report summarizing the meeting and key findings has just been released and can
be downloaded here.
World Economic Forum: Water Crisis Biggest World Risk Over Next 10
Water shortage and the risk of a large scale water
crisis is considered one of the greatest risks facing the world today,
according to new study from the World Economic Forum. Now in its 11th
edition, The Global
Risks Report 2016 completes more than a decade of highlighting the most
significant long-term risks worldwide, drawing on the perspectives of
experts and global decision-makers.
Last year, water crises earned
the top spot as the most damaging short-term risk. Along with water’s
rise in the Paris climate talks, the rankings indicate that water, long
the purview of engineers and lawyers, is now an urgent political matter
and is deeply intertwined with climate change, economic stability, and
Most of these trends were noted in previous World
Economic Forum assessments. They are now coming to pass. Learn
more about the risks we face here.
Poll: Water Worries Westerners Worse than Wages
For many westerners in the US, concerns over the future of water
are as important as the economy and unemployment, according to results from
Colorado College's 2016 Conservation in the West poll.
The sixth annual
State of the Rockies Project poll of thousands of residents in seven western
states shows many people fear for the future of water in the West. The
sentiment might come from a change in national economics and a rash of news
about drought, said Eric Perramond, the director of CC's State of the
"I would say that the concerns for water use now equal and
just barely exceed concern about unemployment. And that's not unexpected
given the economic recovery," Perramond said. "(And) like most Americans, we
tend to pay more attention when something is in our face."
through phone calls to 2,800 people, the poll also gauged public opinion on
federal public lands, another hot topic in the West where a
Sagebrush-style rebellion in Oregon broke out in protest of federal
ownership. The poll indicated public opinion seems to favor certain public
lands remaining under federal oversight. Learn
Infrastructure Needs $271 Billion Says New Survey
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a
survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the
nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater
to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for
managing stormwater runoff.
The survey is a collaboration between EPA,
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To
be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location
of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution,
and detailed information on project cost.
EPA launched the Water
Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center in January 2015 to work with
states and communities to identify innovative financing strategies for
drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. The center
recently selected regional Environmental Finance Centers to help communities
across the country develop sustainable “how-to-pay” solutions to meet
environmental goals. This financial expertise and technical assistance helps
communities make informed funding decisions for resilient infrastructure
projects that best meet local needs. Learn
- Proposals for 2017 WE Standard Due
January 29 - The deadline for submitting formal proposals toward
the development of the 2017 Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard
(WE•Stand) ends at 5 p.m. PST on Jan. 29. Learn
- National Geo: 4 Things that Will Help End
California’s Drought – El
Nino may need some help it seems.
- Will El Nino
Replenish California Aquifers or Will it Ravage Vulnerable Infrastructure
will it be? Learn more here.
- Flint crisis: a
cautionary tale about America’s water supply – Lessons
from America’s latest water quality disaster.
- Phoenix, AZ Seeks Water Resources Specialist in Conservation
and Efficiency –Check
out this job opening at the City of Phoenix.
Announces Final Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Prerinse Spray
final standards for PRSVs were released at the end of 2015.
- DOE Announces Final Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential
could be small water use implications from this ruling.
- AMWUA Announces New Executive Director - The Arizona
Municipal Water Users Association has appointed Warren Tenney to serve as
its new Executive Director.
- 2016 Business of Water
Corporate Leaders Summit March 30-31 in Phoenix – Learn
more and register here.
- Thawing Permafrost Drains A
Canadian Lake – The
surprising consequences of climate change are impacting the natural
landscape in unexpected ways.
- US Surgeon General V.
Murthy Supports Water Fluoridation - “Community
water fluoridation is one of the most practical, cost-effective, equitable,
and safe measures communities can take to prevent tooth decay and improve
- Demise of Klamath River deal could
rekindle old water-use battles -A
key piece of a three-part agreement expired when Congress failed to approve
it by Dec. 31. The complicated pact, backed by the states of
California and Oregon, called for the removal of four hydroelectric dams,
settled water rights disputes and spelled out water allocations for
irrigators and wildlife refuges in the Klamath Basin.
Mountain Meltdown Underway as Glaciers Shrink – Scientists
document the continued retreat of America’s glaciers.
- Consumer Considerations for On-Bill Efficiency Financing
Environmental Finance Blog takes on this consumer protection
- Future of Energy Efficiency is in Advanced Data
reports from ACEEE independently reached the same conclusions.
- Hopes Dim for UK Tidal Basin Energy Project –Prime
Minister David Cameron admitted that enthusiasm has “been reduced” by new
- Perkle Makes it Easy to
Support AWE while Shopping – Did you know it’s easy to support the
Alliance for Water Efficiency by shopping
through Perkle using Macy’s, Amazon, Walgreens, Office Depot, and
more. Check it out!
How to Submit Content for
Water Efficiency Watch
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welcomes submission of articles, photos, stories, commentary, new
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DISCLAIMER: The Alliance for Water Efficiency reports on research and
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endorsement of any product, service, research effort, analysis, etc. unless
specifically so indicated.