Water Conservation How saving water can save money and provide customers with eco-friendly living The Coalition for Water Security for the RI Association of Realtors 2010
Curriculum Outline • Location, location, location. Understanding water as a regional issue in RI. • Curb appeal. Landscaping and water use on residential properties. • Indoor water use.
Location, Location, Location Water supply issues vary with location in Rhode Island 1500 miles of rivers and streams 20,000 acres of lakes and ponds
Areas Currently Served by Major Water Suppliers In RI Green – grd water Red – surface water Yellow – mixed Other areas rely on individual wells
Maintaining River Ecology A critical component of water supply management Ipswich River dewatered by water withdrawals in the watershed
Hunt River August 2005
Hunt River at Forge Road September 7, 2007 photo by M. Kerr
“Target Species” River Herring or “Buckies” Alewife(Alosa pseudoharengus) Blueback Herring(Alosa aestivalis) American shad(Alosa sapidissima)
Historic Pawtuxet Falls Fishing for Buckies, About 1910 Early 1900’s
Summer Water Use Exceeds Winter Use North Kingstown Water Monthly Pumping Data MARCH AND APRIL
North Kingstown Water Monthly Pumping Data JULY AND AUGUST
How much does water use go up in the summer?
Scituate Reservoir – Ave. Summer/Winter Withdrawals M G D FISCAL YEAR
Watersheds of Concern • Preliminary data indicates that the following watersheds may not be supporting the goals • We need to address the areas in Red through conservation and reduced demand. • Hunt River • Chipuxet River • Westerly • Jamestown • Cumberland and Woonsocket • We may be able to look for more water to supplement from the green areas. Current demand < withdrawal standard Current demand may exceed Withdrawal standard Current demand exceeds Withdrawal standard Undetermined
Part II --- Curb Appeal Landscaping and water use on residential properties
Reducing residential demand:What works? • Watering restrictions • Once a week: reduced use 57% • Twice a week: reduced use by 33% • Price signals • Fla. study: 50-80% price increase, 55% use decrease • Irvine, CA: increasing block rates, 50% decrease in outdoor watering
Reducing residential demand:What doesn’t work? • Automatic sprinkling systems • Alternate day watering rules • Voluntary programs
Save Water, Save MoneyWater Use and Efficiency Act 2009 • Enforceable demand management programs (WRB) will encourage • Reduction in summer peak • Per capita water use goals • Conservation pricing • PUC rules • Revenue stabilization funds
Low Flow Toilets • Toilets account for nearly 30 percent • of an average home's indoor water • consumption. • Switching over to water-efficient plumbing fixtures could save the average household as much as $50 to $100 a year on water and wastewater bills. • Older toilets typically used up to 7 gallons per flush, and then they 'evolved' to a more efficient 3.5 gallons per flush, and then to 1.6 gallons per flush. • The new 'Low Flow' or 'High-Efficiency' toilets only use about 1.3 gallons per flush, and save your family between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons of water per year, per toilet over the 7 gallon models and save about 3,200 gallons relative to the 3.5 gallon models.
Dual Flush Toilets Older toilets use about 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. Low flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush and save between 8,000 and 20,000 gallons of water per year, per toilet. Dual-flush toilets take savings to the next level, because they have two buttons - one for a light flush at 0.9 Gallons and the other for a heavy flush at 1.6 gallons.
Water saving with toilet replacements* * H2ouse.org
Shower water use, national avg.* * Mayer, et. Al, 1999 from www.h2ouse.org
High performance showerheads • Pressure regulated high-efficiency or high-performance shower heads save about 40% of the water required by conventional showers -- reducing the water flow from 2.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM) to about 1.6 GPM. • They also save energy when you use less fuel to heat the water for each shower. • Each shower head now only costs between $40 and $60. New models provide ample pressure, and for a family of four, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars per year and thousands of gallons of water.
Saving water washing dishes • A typical dishwasher uses between 8 and 15 gallons per load of dishes with an average of about 9.3 gallons per load (Mayer, et. al. 1999). • Some manufacturers do offer high-efficiency dishwasher models. These dishwashers use less water and more significantly, less energy than the standard models. A high-efficiency dishwasher can wash a load of dishes using 5 to 7 gallons of water. • A family that replaces a 12-gallon per load machine with a 6-gallon per load machine, and runs their dishwasher 4 times per week will save about 1,250 gallons of water per year.
Faucet Water Use * Mayer, et. Al. 1999 from www.h2ouse.org
Clothes washer water use rates * Mayer, et. al. 1999 from www.h2ouse.org
High-efficiency clothes washers Reduced the average volume per load by 40% overall. Hot water use was reduced by 63% and per capita use was reduced by 38%.
Water use varies by: • Type of property. Single family vs. multi family • Location. Urban vs. suburban • Lot size (lawn size) • Whether the property has in ground irrigation • Residential vs. commercial