My Group Is Ready for Water Conservation. Now What?
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Water conservation has historically been viewed as something important to western states with arid climates and limited water resources. However, the importance of water conservation is changing nationwide and it is time for the east coast to become more proactive. The Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group (CWWMG) recognized the need for conservation as part of its mission to identify, fund and manage projects that help extend and enhance the capacity of the Catawba-Wateree River. In order to determine the best approach for its 18 member organizations, the CWWMG selected Jordan, Jones & Goulding and Maddaus Water Management to conduct a benchmarking survey of current water demand management programs across the United States. This survey was completed in the fall of 2009 and included 28 water utilities in eleven states representing over 40,000,000 people. This paper has been adapted from the project report, Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group Benchmarking Survey of Current Successful Water Demand Management Programs, and reviews the methodology and results of the benchmarking survey for current demand management programs. It also provides insight into questions that a utility may ask about current trends when designing a local water conservation program, such as: • What are current industry trends and innovative ideas in water conservation? • What types of programs will lead to a successful water conservation effort for my utility? • What are reasonable conservation goals for my new program and how would they be measured? • How much will this new program cost and how should that be incorporated into the budget? When considering the legislative changes on the horizon for water utilities in North Carolina, this paper can provide some ideas for proactive utilities about water conservation practices that have been tested nationwide for over a decade. This will be your opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of 28 leaders in demand management, and shape those lessons into a successful water conservation program of your own.
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