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.


What California Can Learn from Australia's Millennium Drought

Lessons learned during Australia’s worst drought on record are helping California through its own water crisis.

A 2016 report shows that strategies developed and mistakes made during Australia’s decade-long millennium drought provide a powerful resource for California, as the state enters its fifth year of severe drought.

On Indoor Plumbing Water Efficiency

This paper advocates for the incorporation of higher minimum performance and efficiency requirements for indoor plumbing into legislative, regulatory, and codes and standards initiatives.



A summary of the year's activities.

A research report assessing the impacts of increasing water-use efficiency on demand hardening. Funded by a number of water utilities and The Walton Family Foundation, the report discusses whether consumer demand can be “hardened” by the continued pressure of demand management programs. The report was prepared by Anil Bamezai, PhD, of Western Policy Research under the direction of the Alliance for Water Efficiency and a project committee composed of water utilities that provided data for analysis.

Description of the Project   

Net Blue is a collaborative initiative of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Environmental Law Institute, and River Network to support sustainable community growth. The project team developed a model ordinance that communities can tailor and customize to create a water demand offset approach meeting local needs.

A report detailing the research compiled to date and identifying where the gaps in the research occur. The report is the first step in AWE’s project to help clarify what programs, practices, and irrigation technologies save the most water. The report was prepared for AWE by the project team of Peter Mayer, Paul Lander, and Diana Glenn. Funding for this phase one report was provided by the California Urban Water Agencies. 

Description of the Project 


A summary of the year's activities.

2014 was a fantastic year for the Alliance for Water Efficiency. We were awarded the prestigious 2014 U.S. Water Prize, receiving recognition from our peers that we are doing significant and valuable work. We were invited to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on water and energy issues, demonstrating that our opinions on this issue are valued within this important sector of our government.

This paper explores drought planning in a changing world and highlights important considerations to be included in the process.


An Initiative to Help Water Managers Build Better Rates - Handbook and Rate Model Help Create Rate Structures to Support Revenue Stability and Sustainable Resource Management

A white paper examining market-based strategies, such as derivatives and insurance, which are available to water managers and can be applied to help them mitigate the revenue risks associated with unpredictable weather.


A summary of the year's activities.

An article that presents an analysis of water use trends and avoided costs.

There is a commonly held belief in the water industry that declining per capita usage due to water conservation is forcing rate increases to compensate for fewer units of volume billed. But the rate increases necessitated by conservation are actually much smaller than the rate increases that would be necessary to account for population growth in the absence of conservation. 

As the nation’s administration carves a path to combat the effects of climate change through more sustainable resource management, a report released today reveals gaps in the understanding of the relationship between water and energy.

Never Waste is a national campaign from the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) that aims to raise awareness about the amount of water we waste in our daily lives and encourage consumers to take action to reduce water waste.

The campaign quantifies the amount of water wasted by comparing it to an everyday object – a water bottle – and encourages consumers to take simple steps to eliminate their water waste. Water supplies in the United States are increasingly under pressure from a growing population, with more than 36 states facing shortages this year.


A summary of the year's activities.

The year 2012 marked the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s fifth birthday, a marvelous moment that allowed us to celebrate our hard-won successes as well as reflect on the challenges still before us. 

The Alliance for Water Efficiency, with funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, assessed five representative industries within the Great Lakes watershed that are supplied with treated drinking water and that discharge to a local wastewater utility. The assessments that were conducted focused on four factors:

In August 2012, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread co-hosted a summit with water utility managers, rate experts, price regulators, economists, and advocacy groups to explore the issues surrounding declining water sales, utility revenue losses, and the impact on conservation programs. Prior to the summit, a white paper was developed to frame the discussion. Following the summit, the white paper was finalized with comments from the participants.

The Problem

AWE's consumer website Home Water Works, features an advanced household water calculator. This stunning website was created to give consumers the best and most relevant information about conserving water at home, and offers water saving tips and information about every major water-using fixture and appliance found in homes today.


A summary of the year's activities.

Professionally, 2011 was a productive and exciting year for the Alliance; financially, it was a challenging year in light of the continued economic downturn and belt-tightening throughout our stakeholder industries. Despite the challenges, membership continued to grow, and the Alliance continued to provide valuable member benefits in the areas of research, education, and technical assistance. 

The Colorado River basin presents the greatest water management challenges of any river basin in the nation, with ever-expanding demands for multiple water uses, water demand exceeding supply, valued but fragile ecosystems, and support for nearly every type of water-relevant interest. The importance of instream flows–the amount of water flowing in a stream or river– is more pressing than ever, but in many parts of the basin, all water is spoken for.