2022 State Policy Scorecard for Water Efficiency and Sustainability

January 18, 2023

The Alliance for Water Efficiency’s 2022 U.S. State Policy Scorecard for Water Efficiency and Sustainability (Scorecard) evaluated and ranked each U.S. state based on its adoption of laws and policies that advance water efficiency, conservation, sustainability, and affordability. California was the top ranked state followed by Texas, Arizona, Washington, Georgia, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Minnesota to round out the top ten.

Click the links below to view:

Press Release | Executive Summary | 2022 Scorecard Full Report | 2022 State Scorecard Grading Results


To view individual State Scorecards, scroll to the bottom of the page

While some states improved since AWE’s previous Scorecard was released in 2017, the analysis found little progress overall, even as droughts and other climate change impacts increasingly undermine affordable, reliable water services. The average state score was only 23 out of 89 possible points.

“Providing sustainable water services is increasingly costly and complicated because of climate change and other factors,” said Ron Burke, President and CEO of AWE. “It’s important that states, as well as the federal government, support local efforts to reduce water use with financial assistance, policies that drive best practices, and planning that facilitates cooperation across watersheds.”

A common misconception is that water efficiency and conservation in the U.S. are only important in the Southwest where a prolonged drought has created a severe water crisis in the region. However, drought is increasingly common across the nation, with nearly every state experiencing drought in 2022. In addition, the benefits of reducing water use go beyond preventing water shortages. That is reflected in the geographic diversity of the top ten ranked states, with representation from the West but also the South, Midwest, and East.

“Water efficiency and conservation are typically the fastest and least expensive ways to save water while also lowering water bills, reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, protecting rivers and lakes, and enhancing resilience to extreme weather events,” said Burke.

Click here for the 2012 Scorecard  | Click here for the 2017 Scorecard 

Join us for the 2022 Scorecard Webinar on February 2, 2023

All are invited to join us for a follow up discussion on the 2022 Scorecard on February 2, 2023 at 11 am Central. In this hour long webinar, we will address changes in state-level laws pertaining to water efficiency and conservation. It also covers national trends and observations from the research, state-specific highlights, and perspectives from AWE staff members and state-level officials. Click here to register.

View the 2022 Individual State Scorecards 

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

Suggested Citation

Burke, R., Hans, L., Connolly Palmer, K., Spilka, B., Schempp, A. (2022). 2022 State Policy Scorecard for Water Efficiency and Sustainability Chicago, IL. Alliance for Water Efficiency. www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/2022scorecard