Evaluation of Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water Conservation Measures Through Actual Water Savings and Cost/Benefit Analysis

Project ID: 750
Principal Investigator: Lynne Fisher
Research Topic: Water Resource Data Analysis
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

* What are the conservation measures currently being used by public and private water utilities?

* What are the water savings actually being achieved by these conservation measures?

* What are the costs and benefits of commonly used conservation programs that the water utilities use to help their customers save water?

Need and Benefit

The field of water conservation is at a juncture where it must become increasingly rigorous in evaluating and analyzing its various programs and measures. All will agree that, almost without exception, water conservation programs have been poorly quantified from the standpoint of water saved (actual) and from the standpoint of cost/benefit to both the program implementer, (i.e., the water provider, municipality, etc., and the end user or customer).

Water (Conservation Alliance of Southern Arizona ) CASA proposes undertaking a major initiative to:

* Generate a complete listing of water conservation strategies/programs being implemented throughout the Western United States (throughout the nation, for indoor efforts)

* Compile all available pre- and post-program water use data for each measure in a variety (up to 5) of specific communities or target populations

* Determine the actual water savings for each measure in each district program

* Establish the public and private costs for each measure to determine the cost/benefit ratio for each program in each situation

This information will serve as a resource and reference for anyone and everyone who wants to implement a water conservation program and desires to make the most informed decision possible with regards to a particular measure's effectiveness, costs and benefits. Consistent with Reclamation's mission, the results improve the analysis and usability of critical water resources management data and information to facilitate effective and comprehensive planning and decisionmaking.

Values and Benefits to DS-4 - Water Resource Data Analysis

* Anticipatory drought management: The proposed program evaluation will benefit water managers throughout the Western United States who are charged with making informed decisions about stages implementation strategies.

* Cost savings by avoidance of structural development: Water managers know implicitly that effective conservation efforts can eliminate or delay the need for capital improvements. To have reliable data and accurate cost/benefit numbers for increments of water saved will be most beneficial to the making of sound demand management judgments.

* Voluntary solutions (social acceptability): A sound, rational basis for utility, regulatory, or government inspired solutions to the efficient use of our water resources has incredibly high social acceptability, indeed the water community has been lacking this type of rigorous evaluation for too long.

This analysis is sorely needed as a resource and reference to determine how to obtain the greatest amount of water savings for the least expenditure of funds, time, and human effort.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.

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Last Updated: 4/4/17