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...

AWE Files Letters of Support for WaterSense Authorization 

SaveWaterSense_InfographicThe past month has seen a major effort by the Alliance for Water Efficiency and partner organizations to save the WaterSense program as we know it. On September 5, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, along with dozens of organizations from across the United States, filed support letters for the authorization of the WaterSense program via HR 3248, S 1137, S 1700, and S 1460. Learn more about this legislation here

This collective effort has been getting positive attention in Congress.  As a result of the urging of AWE and other industry partners, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee issued its FY 2018 agency funding report rejecting the proposed elimination of the WaterSense® program.  Earlier this year, on April 25, AWE delivered a letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt with 187 organizations calling for preserved program funding.  Without Congressional authorization, the funding is solely within the EPA Administrator’s discretion. This letter asks him to continue that discretionary funding.

AWE will continue its effort to preserve the WaterSense labeling program, one of the most effective and cost-effective water efficiency efforts ever.

Two Major U.S. Water-Efficiency Organizations to Form Partnership 

CalWEP Alliance LogoThe California Water Efficiency Partnership (CalWEP) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) have announced that they are forming a new partnership, bringing together two major organizations dedicated to improving and enhancing water efficiency in California and North America.  Beginning January 1, 2018, CalWEP will become a chapter of AWE.

AWE H Logo“This is an outstanding move for advancing water efficiency and conservation,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, who is serving as both the CalWEP Transition Executive Director and AWE President & CEO.

“The alignment of these two organizations provides new focus, unity and resources to advancing water efficiency and leverages each organization’s investments.”

The move comes as CalWEP, formerly the California Urban Water Conservation Council, transitions into a new entity focused on helping water providers meet emerging legislative and regulatory mandates.

Learn more about this exciting new partnership here.

Alliance for Water Efficiency Annual Day of Meetings Set for Tuesday, October 3, in Las Vegas  

AWE WaterSense & Water-Efficient Products Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Napa A Room
AWE Education & Outreach Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Napa A Room
AWE Water Efficiency Research Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Napa A Room
AWE Annual Member Meeting & Reception
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00+ p.m. | Sonoma C Room

Annual Meeting Featured Speaker: Karen Guz, 2012 Water Star Awardee, and SAWS Director of Water Conservation 

karenguzphotoThe featured speaker at the AWE annual member meeting and reception in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 in Sonoma C Room will be Karen Guz, Director of Water Conservation for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and AWE 2012 AWE Water Star honoree.  Karen's talk entitled, "How I Went from Rain Barrel Skeptic to Rolling with It: Converting Rain Barrel Mania into Conservation Results" will highlight SAWS' wildly popular rain barrel program, which ended an initial 4-week pilot with 6,000 advance orders. 

mayer and demarco jam at AWE music nightAfter Karen’s speech AWE invites you to enjoy food, drink and the 4th edition of our Annual Groundhog Days Music Night. Come hear water conservation's best and bravest singers and musicians in the water management industry's first, only, and longest running annual live music event.

Water Smart Innovation 10th Anniversary Preview 

watersmartlogo2017_headerThis year marks the 10th anniversary of the Water Smart Innovations Conference and it promises to be one of the most energetic editions of the event yet. WSI will again feature more than 100 professional sessions, an exhibit hall showcasing water-efficient products and services, and technical tours to venues illustrating Southern Nevada's commitment to water efficiency.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is again presenting WSI in partnership with the Alliance for Water EfficiencyAmerican Water Works Association, the U.S. EPA's WaterSense Program, and other forward-thinking public- and private-sector organizations.

For the 10th consecutive year, WSI will be held at the South Point Hotel Casino and Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, a sprawling but very affordable venue. Catherine Greener, Vice President of Sustainability for Xanterra Parks & Resorts, will deliver the keynote address at the opening session. A celebration of the 10th anniversary of WSI and AWE will be held on Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m at the conference’s opening reception.

AWE Presentations, Panels, and Posters at WSI 

The Alliance for Water Efficiency is pleased to announce our affiliation with more than 10 outstanding presentations, panels, and posters at WSI:

   Wednesday – October 4 

  • 1:00 pm - 30+ Years of Water Efficiency Progress - But What is the Likely Future? – John Koeller
  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm – A New Era – Refocusing the California Urban Water Conservation Council – Joe Berg
  • 1:40 pm - Water Efficiency at Ted's Montana Grill: Piloting AWE's Restaurant Guide – Jennifer Carlisle
  • 1:40 pm - AWE/American Water/Rachio - Peak Day Water Use Reduction Study – Peter Mayer
  • 3:55 pm - AWE Landscape Transformation - Improving Outdoor WUE Programs – Thomas Chesnutt

   Thursday – October 5 

  • 7:30 am - AWWA Water Conservation Committees Roundup. This meeting offers an overview of AWWA committees and products, info on the new version of M52, and upcoming revision to M60. New and interested committee members are welcome. Napa A.
  • 9:00 am - A Wild West Tale: Debunking the Myth That Conservation Increases Rates – Candice Rupprecht
  • 2:55 pm - ASHRAE 189.1: Moving at the Speed of Green – Thomas Pape
  • 3:35 pm - WaterSense in Jeopardy: Saving the EPA Water Labeling Program – Mary Ann Dickinson
  • 4:15 pm - Peer Review of the Water Conservation Programs of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – Peter Mayer
  • 4:15 pm - Saturation Incomplete! Water Savings Opportunities Have Been Left Behind! – John Koeller

   Friday – October 6 

  • 9:40 am – Panel: Truth Be Told: Explaining the Real Relationship between Conservation and Rates in Your Community – Mary Ann Dickinson, Candice Rupprecht, Peter Mayer and more.

Visit the AWE Booth at WSI 

WSI offers plenty of opportunity to meet AWE staff and learn more about the organization. Come say hello at the AWE booth #110 in the expo hall and pick up the latest AWE swag!

Senator Feinstein Promotes Water Conservation Tax Parity 

For years, AWE and partners have worked to get the attention of Congress to pass federal legislation exempting water conservation and efficiency rebates from being taxable on consumer’s income tax returns.  IRS law requires water utilities to send 1099’s to customers receiving rebates totaling $600 or more in any calendar year, and with the growing issuance of turf replacement rebates, many customers are now getting these 1099 notices, with predictable negative reactions.  Ironically, energy efficiency rebates have been tax exempt for decades.

California legislators Senator Feinstein and Representative Huffman have introduced bills in Congress to repair this inequity and AWE is leading a national coalition of water organizations created specifically to promote passage of this needed exemption. Senator Feinstein has been particularly concerned about this issue. Readers of Municipal Water Leader Magazine were treated to an outstanding opinion from her on this topic

Sacramento Makes Important Changes to Outdoor Irrigation Watering Policy 

On August 15 the City of Sacramento City Council voted to revise its long standing watering ordinance, which goes into effect November 1, 2017. Prior to the January 14, 2014 Water Shortage declaration by the Sacramento City Council, the City alternated between a spring/summer and fall/winter watering schedule. Between Daylight Savings Time (DST) in the spring and DST in the fall, Sacramento residents and businesses were allowed to water their landscapes up to three days a week, tied to their address. In the fall, watering was restricted to just one day a week, either on Saturday or Sunday, tied to the fall DST change. Now, effective November 1, 2017, the winter one day per week watering schedule will go into effect, moving away from the linkage to Daylight Savings. Two day per week watering will go into effect beginning March 1, 2018. This will be a permanent restriction.

The ordinance change also contained many new exemptions: 1) for smart controllers confirmed to be correctly programmed; 2) for hand watering; 3) for consecutive 100 degree days; and 4) for special landscape areas such as areas used solely for growing edible plants. Exemptions had already existed for drip irrigated landscapes and container plantings. Standard spray irrigated landscapes controlled by conventional irrigation controllers are not allowed to operate between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

This continues a long-time pattern of restrictions in Sacramento.  The city’s winter watering schedule has been in effect since late 2009. The spring/summer watering schedule has been around since the 1990s.  With this new ordinance, Sacramento joins the few cities around the country with permanent watering restrictions.

Arizona Kicks Off Water Loss Control Pilot Project  

Water Loss Training in AZThe Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA), in partnership with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), has launched a Water Loss Control Pilot Project to help address water supply challenges and the need for continued conservation driven by stressed water supplies and aging utility infrastructure.

Due to the successful implementation of water loss control programs in other states like Georgia and California, WIFA and ADWR decided to develop a program in Arizona. This project will take the first steps towards determining the feasibility of standardizing and promoting water loss auditing among utilities across the state.

For Arizona’s pilot project, WIFA and ADWR selected a variety of public and private systems based on their population size, percentage of water loss, potential to implement water loss recommendations, and, most importantly, supportive leadership to embrace and champion the M36 methodology. 

In addition to WIFA and ADWR, partners and other state agencies are taking a closer look at this issue and working to establish a new direction for water loss control in Arizona, one that is open to constant innovation. 

  • The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has adopted a policy statement establishing concrete steps toward a manageable framework to systematically address water loss, including updating audit methodology and data collection, collaboration between regulatory agencies to memorialize reform efforts, approaching water loss control as a partnership between regulatory agencies and utilities, and addressing areas where additional research is needed.
  • The Governor’s Water Augmentation Council has also recognized the importance of water loss control to ensure long-term water supplies for Arizona and recommended that ADWR act to address water loss control outside of the state's Active Management Areas. 
  • Other supporters include the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Arizona Water Association.  

Learn more about Arizona’s efforts on water loss control here

AWE seeks a Membership Assistant 

AWE is seeking a Membership Assistant to join our growing team in our Chicago office. This role is a great opportunity for someone early in their career to develop critical skills in nonprofit fundraising, program management and community engagement, while being part of some of the most innovative and exciting work happening in water management. Learn about this great job with AWE and other great career opportunities on the AWE Jobs Board

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.