Water Efficiency Watch

News from the Alliance for Water Efficiency


Water Efficiency Watch is the online newsletter of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, edited by Peter Mayer.   

In this issue of Water Efficiency Watch...

US Water Demand Declines Again in 2015 in USGS Report 

Lead by California and Texas, public water withdrawals continue to decline even as population increases according to the Public Supply and Domestic Water Use in the US 2015 update, recently issued by USGS.  The report confirms the significant impact of urban water efficiency across the US.  Public withdrawals in 2015 were 7% lower than in 2010, and 2015 was the lowest year since 1985.  Per capita use in 2015 was 11.5% lower than in 2010, demonstrating the efficiency increases achieved.

 Public withdrawals 1950 - 2015 USGSFrom 2010 to 2015, population in the United States relying on public supply increased 5.2 percent, or approximately 14 million people. Total withdrawals for public supply were about 39,200 million gallons per day (MGD) in 2015 and decreased 7 percent, or about 2,890 MGD from 2010 (42,100 MGD) to 2015 (39,200 MGD), continuing the decline in public-supply withdrawals observed from 2005 to 2010.

The largest decreases in total public-supply withdrawals at the state level were in California and Texas (1,150 MGD and 1,110 MGD, respectively). Decreases in California and Texas accounted for 78 percent of the overall reduction. Thirty-four other states had estimated decreases in public-supply withdrawals and 16 states had

These results come from the limited in scope 2015 update report from USGS.  A more complete and detailed report will be issued after 2020.

AWE’s Water Use in the US page, offers more information on water use trends in the US based on data from the US Geological Survey.

Water Leader Carole Baker Wins the Water Star Award 

AWE-CB_2823smThe AWE Water Star Award recognizes individual excellence in water efficiency and celebrates the “unsung hero” who makes a huge difference by their quiet dedication, passion, and progressive approaches that move water conservation forward. The 2017 Water Star Award was given to Carole Baker, President & CEO of the Texas Water Foundation.

After beginning her water career at the Houston Subsidence District in 1990, Carole quickly became a leader in the emerging Texas water conservation movement, providing counsel to state legislators and committee chairs. Thanks to her guidance, Texas became the second state to adopt WaterSense® plumbing standards statewide, and allocated $400 million for conservation and recycling in the Texas water bond—still the largest of any U.S. state. 

When the Alliance for Water Efficiency was formed in 2007, Carole was integral in securing start-up funding, raising nearly $600,000 herself. She served as the first Board Chair for the Alliance and held the position until 2015. Now, Carole directs the Texas Water Foundation and continues to mentor water professionals throughout Texas.

As AWE celebrates our 10th anniversary, it is exciting to honor the impact Carole has made not only for the Alliance for Water Efficiency, but throughout the field of water conservation.  Congratulations Carole Baker, AWE’s 2017 Water Star.

WSI 2017 – 10th Edition of Popular Water Conference Delivers Again – Reflections 

watersmartlogo2017_headerHosting a water efficiency conference following a brutal, senseless massacre is no easy task, but Doug Bennett, Patrick Watson, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority team rose to the occasion at Water Smart Innovations 2017.  This was the much anticipated 10th edition of the conference which attracts 1,000 water professionals annually and everyone participating in the event was touched in some way by the events. 

WSI staff informed all registrants on Monday that the event would go on as scheduled and Attendees landing in Las Vegas found a city grieving and in shock, but moving forward.  Despite the grim situation, the WSI staff warmly welcomed attendees making sure everyone understood how much their participation and effort to attend were appreciated.

After 10 years, WSI has firmly established itself as the premier urban water efficiency and conservation event in the U.S.  This year was no different.  Presentation rooms were packed, the exhibit hall buzzed with conversation, and hallway conversations were animated.  The organizers are to be commended for their above and beyond the call of duty efforts this year. 

The Alliance for Water Efficiency has been a partner in putting on WSI since the beginning and the tradition was proudly continued in 2017.  If you have never been to WSI, you need to put it on your calendar for 2018.  It will be held October 2 – 5, 2018 at the good old South Point Resort in Las Vegas.  See you there!

WaterSense Awards Excellence Award Winners Includes AWE 

2017-watersense-partner-of-yearEPA WaterSense Presented their annual partner of the year awards at the Thursday luncheon, hosted by AWE and EPA.  The Alliance for Water Efficiency walked away with a 2017 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration with The following awards were presented by EPA’s Veronica Blette and team.

Sustained Excellence Awards 

Seven WaterSense partners demonstrated their sustained commitment to WaterSense’s mission in 2016:

Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department Water Conservation Office (WCO), a two-time WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year and previous Excellence Award winner, held 126 interactive programs promoting water efficiency to nearly 9,000 participants. 

Cobb County (Georgia) Water System, a five-time Promotional Partner of the Year, earned its first Sustained Excellence Award by participating in every WaterSense campaign in 2016. 

Delta Faucet Company, a three-time Sustained Excellence Award winner, donated WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucets to local plumbers supporting clean water efforts in Flint, Michigan. 

The Home Depot received its third Sustained Excellence Award through online promotion of WaterSense labeled products, including its Eco Options website that generated 33 million impressions. 

KB Home earned its third Sustained Excellence Award by building 265 WaterSense labeled homes and installing approximately 400,000 WaterSense labeled fixtures in its homes in 2016. 

Kohler Co. received its fifth Sustained Excellence Award by debuting its 1.0 gallon of water per flush Highline toilet, which was featured in Kohler’s Sustainability Campaign targeting customers in states experiencing drought conditions. 

Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP), a three-time Partner of the Year Award winner, earned its first Sustained Excellence Award as a professional certifying organization. 

2017 Excellence Awards 

2017-WaterSense-excellenceEight WaterSense partners received Excellence Awards to recognize their achievements in specific aspects of the program in 2016:

Alliance for Water Efficiency, The City of Plano (Texas), and Niagara Conservation Corp., for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration.

City of Durham (North Carolina) Water Management, Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, and The Toro Company for Excellence in Education and Outreach.

City of Forth Worth (Texas) and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products.

2017 Partner of the Year 

Five partners received 2017 Partner of the Year Awards; four of these outstanding partners will be highlighted in future issues of the WaterSense Current, and one is profiled in this issue.

  • Promotional Partners of the Year: Citrus County (Florida) Utilities; The City of Charlottesville (Virginia); and Metropolitan North Georgia Planning District
  • Professional Certifying Organization Partner of the Year: G3, Green Gardens Group
  • Manufacturer Partner of the Year: American Standard

Drought and Water Crisis, 2nd Ed. Released with AWE Contributions 

Drought and Water Crises coverDrought and Water Crises - Integrating Science, Management, and Policy, Second Edition edited by drought experts Donald Wilhite and Roger Pulwarty was released in October.  In this new addition, AWE along with the Pacific Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Futures co-authored a chapter in Part IV on lessons learned in Australia.

The book addresses the three pillars of drought risk reduction: monitoring and early warning and information delivery systems; vulnerability and impact assessment; and mitigation and response. It also includes in-depth case studies from researchers and practitioners dealing with drought at the local, national, and global scale.  

Published by CRC Press, get more information and a 20%discount codes is available here

Death of Conservation? Webinar Addresses Unintended Consequences 

Rest_in_peaceAWE's next webinar, "Death Knell Barriers to Water Conservation," will be held on November 28, at 1 p.m. CT.

This webinar will cover some unintended consequences to your water conservation programs that can end up being the “death” of your programs if not addressed properly. These issues include:      

  • Utility revenue loss from water efficiency and conservation programs
  • Lack of a federal tax exemption for water efficiency and conservation rebates
  • Utility inability to debt finance conservation programs
  • Slowdown in distribution system pipe flows causing the need for greater system flushing
  • Pathogen growth in efficient premise plumbing systems

Featured speakers will be: Mary Ann Dickinson, President & CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency; Pete DeMarco, Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Research, IAPMO; Dr. Claressa Lucas, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cost: Free for AWE Members, $40 for non-members.  Get more info and register today. 

New Standard Provides Mechanical Systems/HVAC Baseline Consumption Volumes 

Cooling_tower_Denver waterA new proposed standard for ASHRAE 191P, the Efficient Use of Water in Building, Site, and Mechanical Systems, provides baseline requirements for the design of mechanical systems that minimize the volume of water required to operate HVAC systems.

The draft is open to comment from now until November 27. The draft is available for review and comments can be submitted to ASHRAE directly.

New to the wonderful world of s to commenting on ASHRAE standards, instructions for commenters are available here.

North American Water Loss Conference Presents International Luncheon Speaker 

R_LiembergerInternational water loss expert Roland Liemberger will provide a luncheon keynote at the 2017 North American Water Loss Conference, which will be held December 3-5 in San Diego, California. Liemberger is a professional engineer who has dedicated his career to advancing the science of water loss management. For more than 30 years, Roland's work has focused on reducing leakage in at least 40 different countries, using the latest methods developed by the International Water Association's Water Loss Specialist Group. He is widely published and has given many presentations around the world. 

His luncheon keynote will provide insight into how water loss control has evolved worldwide over the past decade and what the lessons are for North America. A special treat will be his personal observations, opinions, and views of how we can and should go forward with NRW. His talk will augment the two days of conference presentations, learning modules, and panels to address the critical issue of water loss management in the United States and beyond. Over 500 people participated in the North American Water Loss Conference in 2015, and double that are expected to attend this not-to-be-missed conference this year. The detailed program is posted. To register and join the event,click HERE.

Arizona Agencies Battle for Water Management Reins 

ArizonaA bitter battle over the cactus-thorn-sharp issue of water management is pitting two Arizona agencies against each other.  The fight matches the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which manages water issues statewide, against the Central Arizona Project an agency that operates a 336-mile-long canal that brings Colorado River water to Phoenix and as far south as Tucson.

The agencies are engaged in combat over a series of issues, many pointing to who controls the state’s most precious resource — and the population growth and jobs it can support.

But the conflict also cuts to the heart of how Colorado River water, the lifeblood of the West, will be managed.

Most significantly, officials fear the infighting is interfering with the ability to come up with a fix for Lake Mead’s problems, caused by drought, climate change and chronic water overuse. It’s also raising questions about government accountability, transparency and policy.

Read more about the battle over gets to manage Arizona’s water resources here

Replenish – The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity by Sandra Postel now Available 

ReplenishReplenish, the new book from author Sandra Postel explores our relationship with water and how humanity will use our greatest of gifts.  From New Mexico to China Postel take readers around the world to explore water projects that focus on restoration and renewal.

The book is available for purchase through Island Press.  Chapter 7, titled “Conserve in the City” includes many names familiar to Water Efficiency Watch readers including Amy Vickers, Stuart White, and Katherine Yuhas.

Postel’s deep knowledge of water and her crisp prose make Replenish a great read and it offers of hopeful vision for the 21st century as “we shift from the utilitarian view of water a ‘right’ and a ‘resource’ toward the Earthwise view of water as the planet’s greatest gift, our moral compass will direct us toward sharing water, not only among ourselves but with all living things.”

News Briefs and Web Links 

 How to Submit Content for Water Efficiency Watch      

Water Efficiency Watch welcomes submission of articles, photos, stories, commentary, new technologies, web links, etc. Please e-mail your submission to Peter Mayer – peter.mayer@waterdm.com.

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.