Our Work

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) partners with our members and other organizations to produce the research, tools, resources, and information they need to advance water efficiency in their communities. Our work has helped water professionals seize new opportunities, uncover challenges, and break down barriers to achieve sustainable water use. To get involved and help define the work we do, join the AWE network today.

2024

Affordability is a growing concern as water and wastewater rates rise to account for the increasing costs due to aging infrastructure, extreme weather events, climate change, regulations, and inflation, to name a few. Investing in water conservation and efficiency is one strategy to keep water and wastewater bills affordable. As part of AWE’s mission to promote the efficient and sustainable use of water, AWE is conducting research to better understand how water conservation and efficiency can help lower water bills for low-income customers.

AWE recently wrapped up a learning cohort focused on Cooling Tower Efficiency alongside 15 of our members. The learning cohort consisted of utilities that met seven times from January 2023 through January 2024 to work through the cooling technology research and resources, share experiences and information, and learn from each other and from invited guests with relevant subject matter expertise.

AWE’s latest report, Non-Functional Turf: 2023 Summary of Programs and Policies, is a culmination of our work with water agencies from across the Colorado River Basin, who signed a joint memorandum of understanding in late 2022, committing to take additional actions to increase water efficiency to help protect and conserve water in the CRB region.

2023

In 2022 AWE collaborated with Regional Water Authority (RWA) to prepare a report titled "Water and Energy Savings Estimates for CII Landscapes Upgrade Projects".  RWA is a joint powers authority representing water providers and affiliates in the Sacramento region of California.

AWE’s report, An Assessment of Water Affordability and Conservation Potential in Houston, Texas, evaluates water affordability in Houston and the extent to which water efficiency and conservation can help families, particularly disadvantaged families, lower their water and sewer bills. This follows on AWE’s recent water affordability assessments, including the 2022 analysis of affordability in Long Beach, Ca

AWE’s report, Smart Practices to Save Water: An Evaluation of AMI-enabled Proactive Leak Notification Programs, presents an analysis from four participating utilities with AMI-enabled leak notification programs - Forth Worth, TX, Sacramento, CA, Sacramento Suburban Water District, and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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.

2022

AWE and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation are excited to share a report detailing projects funded by the 2021 Learning Landscape Grants, as well as two projects from the 2020 program that were recently completed. The AWE Learning Landscape Grant Program, funded by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, helps support building or improving educational outdoor spaces at schools, botanical gardens, and community locations that allow school-age children to experience hands-on learning about water efficiency in outdoor landscapes.

Collaboration between the conservation and operation departments in water utilities is key to improving water conservation, mitigating water loss, and developing programs that will benefit the whole service area of a water utility. A strong relationship between the two departments can greatly bolster the success and lead to better management of the utility’s water and energy resources.

LL Grant Report Cover

AWE and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation are excited to share a report detailing projects funded by the 2020 Learning Landscape Grants. The AWE Learning Landscape Grant Program, funded by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, helps support building or improving educational outdoor spaces at schools, botanical gardens, and community locations that allow school-age children to experience hands-on learning about water efficiency in outdoor landscapes.

AWE’s report, An Assessment of Water Affordability and Conservation Potential in Long Beach, California, evaluates water affordability in Long Beach and the extent to which water efficiency and conservation can help families, particularly disadvantaged families, lower their water and sewer bills. This is the second installment of AWE’s water affordability assessments, following 2020’s analysis of affordabili

2021

2021 was another challenging year for the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and our partners as drought – both prolonged and seasonal - continued across much of North America, with the prospect of increasing water supply instability because of climate change. At the same time, political divisions strained the ties that bind our nation together and threatened to prevent action on a host of pressing challenges, including the growing water crisis.

Learn more about AWE's eventful 2021 in the full report.

Need help in planning your water conservation programs? The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) has a solution for you. First released in 2009 after a successful beta testing period with a number of water utilities, the Tracking Tool is now in Version 4.0 (2021) and has over 400 users. The Tracking Tool is an Excel-based model that can evaluate the water savings, costs, and benefits of conservation programs for a specific water utility, using either English or Metric units.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) partnered with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) to examine and evaluate the legal requirements for water utility plans in each of the 50 states. AWE and ELI surveyed the statutes and regulations of each state, with a specific emphasis on how water utility plans intersect with land use policy and planning. This report reviewed relevant laws and conducted case study interviews to answer a series of questions on how community land use factors are considered in the requirements of water utility plans.

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The Alliance for Water Efficiency conducted research to better understand water connection fee and recurring service charge variability by meter size across major metropolitan areas in the United States.  The emergence of new pipe-sizing methodologies may lead to a trend in downsizing meters of new connections.  As such, this report also explores the potential financial implications for water utilities that would be associated with a possible trend in downsizing the meter sizes of new connections.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Cooling Technologies Study was initiated by the AWE Water Efficiency Research Committee after it identified cooling tower water efficiency as an area of needed research. The project began in early 2020 and was completed in the Fall of 2022. AWE worked with the Pacific Northwest National Lab and Maureen Erbeznik & Associates to develop tools and resources to help AWE members create, or optimize, cooling tower water efficiency programs. 

2020

Despite the challenging circumstances of 2020, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) persevered to provide research, member support, and policy advocacy that advanced sustainable water use across North America. As the world abruptly shifted to remote working, we collaborated with our partners to exchange ideas and strategies for navigating the new reality.

Learn more about AWE's eventful 2020 in the full report.

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AWE’s report, An Assessment of Water Affordability and Conservation Potential in Detroit, Michigan, evaluates water affordability and water conservation potential at the census tract level. Water affordability is an incredibly important issue, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency is dedicated to advancing the conversation by applying and evaluating measures of affordability and quantifying the benefits of water conservation. Through our efforts we aim to better understand and define the problem, and work toward solutions to help communities that are disproportionat

To promote water conservation literacy among the next generation of water customers, AWE developed Learning Landscapes: Outdoor Water Efficiency and Conservation Lessons. Developed by two professional educators, Kenneth Mirvis, Ed.D. of The Writing Company and Greg Beach, M.Ed. of Atlanta Public Schools, these lessons are designed to be used by educators of grades 3-8 and align with the associated Next Generation Science Standards.

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The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) Outdoor Water Savings Research Initiative kicked off in 2015 and includes a research review on outdoor water programs, the Peak Day Water Demand Management Study, the Landscape Transformation

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