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Case Studies in Water Conservation Mary Ann Dickinson November 13-14, 2001 Darwin Advises….. Everything evolves, including water conservation programs Learn from others what works and what no longer does Analyze your situation for the pieces that fit Document….document…..

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Case Studies in Water Conservation

Mary Ann Dickinson

November 13-14, 2001


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Darwin Advises…..

  • Everything evolves, including water conservation programs

  • Learn from others what works and what no longer does

  • Analyze your situation for the pieces that fit

  • Document….document…..


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In Your Backyard….

  • City of Atlanta

  • City of Savannah


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Atlanta Water Department

  • Low Income “Care and Conserve” Program

    • Plumbing repairs to reduce water waste

    • Fixture replacement (w/ ultra low-flow fixtures)

    • Direct payment assistance when funds are available

    • Information and instruction on water conservation


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Atlanta Water Department

  • Xeriscape “Water Wise Landscaping” Program Site audits

    • Evaluate the current landscape for water use needs/patterns.

    • Deliver water conservation literature & water saving devices for indoor and outdoor use.

    • Provide one-on-one instruction in the basic principles of Xeriscaping


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Savannah’s Savings Strategies

  • Conduct unaccounted for water audits

  • Leak repair programs and meter calibrations

  • Fire protection and looping improvements

  • Alternate water sources for irrigation – 5 MGD of reclaimed water

  • Water conservation program

  • Conversion of light industrial & commercial groundwater use to surface water


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Savannah’s Water Conservation Program

  • Public outreach and education

    • Mascot, “Less Waters”

    • Indoor/Outdoor Water Conservation kits

    • Water Wisdom video

    • Water Sourcebooks to schools

  • Plumbing retrofit program for residential homes has saved approximately 1.113 MG/year.

  • Plumbing retrofit for public housing complexes has saved approximately 3 MG/year.


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Savannah’s Bottom Line

  • Customer base in last 17 years increased by 17%

  • Total water production from all city wells has remained constant over the last 17 years

  • Total water leaks reduced by 65% from 3,242 leaks in 1981 to 1,131 leaks in 2000

  • Looping lines requires less system flushing

    • In 1999, 21.8 MG was needed to maintain water quality in 800 miles of distribution system

    • In 2000, only 15.0 MG was needed



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Beyond the Backyard….

  • EPA Case Studies Book

  • Infrastructure Model Study


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Infrastructure Study

  • AWWA Fax to 3700 utilities

  • 653 responses

  • 570 with useable data

  • Data entered into MS Access Database

  • Matched with EPA Region

  • Divided into size categories based on persons served:

    • less than 10,000

    • 10,000-100,000

    • more than 100,000



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Data Collected

  • Water Use

    • Average Day, Peak Day, Total Sales, and Lowest Month

  • Demographics

    • Population served, number of accounts breakdown in residential and non-residential

    • Growth and projected growth in accounts

  • Planned Investments

    • Water Supply, Treatment (current price on energy & chemicals), SWDA


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Benefit Cost Model Analysis

  • Baseline 1999 water use projected over 30 years for residential and non-residential use.

  • Employment estimated at 49-52% from Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Separated into Indoor and Outdoor Use

  • AWWARF Residential End Uses Study 1999

  • Energy & Chemical Costs

  • Planned Infrastructure Investments & SDWA


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Water Savings Estimates by Region & System Size


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Costs Savings Estimatesby Region & System Size


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Study Conclusions

  • Water savings by 2010 estimated at 5%

    increasing to 8% by 2020

  • Savings higher where indoor use is higher

    (e.g., East Coast)

  • Infrastructure cost savings average $26/person

    to utilities and $127/person to communities

  • $7.5 billion to utilities nationwide

  • $35 billion to communities nationwide


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Beyond the Backyard Examples

  • Irvine Ranch Water District

  • City of Albuquerque

  • City of Cary

  • Arizona’s Public Awareness Campaign


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Irvine Ranch Water District

  • Connections: 85,000 and Population: 266,000

  • Conservation Budget: $700,000 – $2 million (funded through the excessive use penalties)

  • Conservation Rate Structure

  • Based on water budgets for all customers

  • Penalties for excessive use

  • Landscape water use has decreased approx. 50% (over 650,000 gallons per year)


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Irvine Ranch Water District

  • Other Conservation Programs

    • Rebates/low interest loans for irrigation system and landscape upgrades

    • Monthly performance reports for 4,000 dedicated landscape meters

    • Monthly notification letters to the highest water wasters

    • Monthly conservation tips and suggested irrigation schedules provided as bill inserts

    • 80% of landscape accounts are reclaimed water


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Irvine Ranch Water District

  • More Conservation Programs

    • Water Conservation Demonstration Garden

    • School education program

    • Residential garden workshops

    • Participation in the Orange County Landscape Performance Certification Program

    • Participate in regional ULFT programs, CII rebate and Landscape Education programs


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Irvine Ranch Water District

  • Conservation Studies

    • X-Ray Film Processor Study – Initial savings are 98%

    • Supermarket Cooling Systems Study

    • Residential Run-off Reduction Study – Testing a real-time water based irrigation controller. Initial data showing a 70% reduction in runoff.

    • Pressure Optimization Study – Testing pressure levels for reducing “misting” and breaks in irrigation systems

    • National Sub-metering Study

    • Strawberry Reclaimed Water Study – Initial savings are nearly 1 MGY


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City of Albuquerque

  • Population Served: 483,000

  • Conservation Goals

    • 30% reduction over 10 years ( 1995 -2005) Reduction in total production from 250 gpcd to 175 gpcd

    • Achieved 23% savings by 2001

    • Gpcd = 205 in 2001, down from 216 in 2000

      Residential only per capita for 2001 = 144 gpcd, down 27% from the baseline of 198 gpcd


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City of Albuquerque

  • Conservation Programs

    • 2000 letters to customers with more than 10% increase in usage since 1994

    • Commercial water audit program

    • Free residential surveys to SF & MF customers

    • Toilet rebate program – 43,000 replacements to date

    • Xeriscaping – 286 customers rebated for 383,180 square feet of xeriscape conversions

    • Water-waste inspectors – visited 3000+ sites and issued more than 400 water-waste violations


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City of Albuquerque

  • More Conservation Programs

    • “Take the Plunge” media campaign

    • Outdoor Watering Time of Day restrictions – April to September

    • Water Recycling – over 3.4 MGY

    • Audit of unaccounted for water loss

  • Washing machine rebates -$100 for high efficiency machines


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City of Cary

  • Population has doubled in last 10 years

  • 75% residential, 21% commercial customers

  • 1998 average daily retail water demand 8.6MGD

  • 2028 projected is 26.7


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Cary’s Response

  • Benefit-Cost Analysis Model

  • Conservation measures chosen with B/C greater than 1.0

  • 10 year plan to reduce retail water production by 4.6 MGD (16% by 2028)

  • Emphasis on measures to reduce peak-day demand during high-volume summer months


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Cary’s Program

  • Water Reclamation Facility for 4.6 MGD

  • Conservation Rate Structure

  • New Homes Points Program

  • Residential Audits

  • Landscape Water Budgets

  • Landscape and Irrigation Codes

  • Toilet Flapper Rebates

  • Public Education


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