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Conservation as a Water Supply Strategy: Opportunities & Challenges Presentation by Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Conservation as a Water Supply Strategy: Opportunities & Challenges Presentation by Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conservation as a Water Supply Strategy: Opportunities & Challenges Presentation by Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club 2014 Kent Butler Summit - Faucets, Toilets, and Automobiles

2 Texas Living Waters Project Joint Public Education & Public Policy Project of the National Wildlife Federation & the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club Key Principles of the Texas Living Waters Project: – Keep Rivers Flowing & Bays & Estuaries Healthy – Protect Fish and Wildlife Habitat – Use Surface Water and Groundwater Sustainably – Use Existing Water Supplies Efficiently – Promote Cost-Effective Water Strategies Website:

3 Defining Terms – Part One Conservation - Ongoing Water Efficiency – Making Sure that Products or Appliances Use the Lowest Flow Rate Possible (example: clothes washers that use less water, fixing leaks in pipes) Water Conservation – Taking Efficient Products with Low Flow Rates and Using Them for Shorter Durations (example: shorter showers) Drought Response – Limited Duration Measures Taken to Reduce Non-Essential Water Use During Periods of Drought or Other Limitations on Water Supply – Often Called Conservation Measures

4 Defining Terms – Part Two Municipal Water Use Residential (including indoor & outdoor) Commercial (businesses) Institutional (schools, hospitals, etc.) Industrial (IF – water comes from utility) Other Water Uses: Agricultural (major use: crop irrigation) Industrial Steam-Electric Generation (power plants) Livestock watering

5 Reducing Indoor Water Use High-Efficiency Toilets – 1.28 gal per flush toilet standard in TX now; toilet replacement Energy & Water Efficient Clothes Washers – federal standards Other Standards for Water Fixtures – low flow spray nozzles, for example Behavioral Changes – educating people on using less water, capturing water for other uses

6 One decision, one time, ongoing, month to month savings. San Antonio Ex: Equipment Change 30% Reduction in Indoor Water Use Examples of program elements: Over 300,000 toilets retrofitted Over 30,000 washing machines Ongoing low income leak repair Hotel & school toilets retrofitted

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8 Reducing Outdoor Water Use Installing More Water-Conserving or Drought Resistant Outdoor Landscaping Using Hand-Held Hoses or Drip Irrigation Instead of Traditional Irrigation Systems If Using a Traditional Irrigation System – Using Rain-Shutoff Sensors, Management/Maintenance Restricting Outdoor Watering on an Ongoing Basis – Example: Dallas Water Utilities: Outdoor Watering No More than Twice a Week

9 Conservation Planning All retail public water utilities with 3300 connections or more and certain other entities must prepare water conservation plans, submit them to the state, revise them every 5 years, and report annually on implementation Revised plans are due to the state (TX Water Development Board and/or TCEQ) by May 1 of this year Conservation plans must include quantifiable targets for reducing water use and water loss Public water utilities are required to conduct water loss audits at least once every 5 years and report those audits to the state (TWDB) – many utilities must do audits annually

10 Approved by Texas Voters 2013 Created SWIFT (State Water Implementation Fund for Texas) and SWIRFT Constitutionally dedicated the funds Made Effective a $ 2B transfer of money from the Rainy Day Fund to SWIFT (HB 1025) Made certain provisions of HB 4 effective Prop 6 (Amendment to TX State Constitution Proposed by the Texas Legislature)

11 $ 2 B to $27 Billion ?? What SWIFT does: Provides a source of revenue or security for TWDB funding programs Supports low-interest loans, longer repayment, incremental repurchase terms for projects with state ownership, deferral of loan payments [No grants] Interacts w/SWIRFT for issuance or revenue bonds SWIFT

12 gov/swift/index.asp Key SWIFT Facts: Created to support projects in state water plan Only political subdivisions (cities, water districts, etc.) & nonprofit water supply corporations eligible for SWIFT funds Not less than 20% of funds for conservation or reuse Not less than 10% of funds for rural projects Prioritization of projects SWIFT

13 Key Challenges for Conservationists Getting an appropriate definition of conservation in the HB 4 rules Getting regional water planning groups to place a greater emphasis on conservation as a water management strategy in their 2016 plans and prioritizing conservation projects in regional plans Encouraging local water suppliers to embrace these conservation projects and seek funding for them from TWDB where needed (some projects may not require state financial assistance)

14 Key Challenge for Water Utilities: Maintaining Revenue Stability while Promoting Conservation New Sierra Club & UNC Report to Help Utilities Address This Challenge

15 Information on Water Conservation and Education: TWDB offers a Water IQ education program that has been adopted and financed by local water entities – A state Water Conservation Advisory Council with TWDB staff support advises TWDB & TCEQ on conservation – The national Alliance for Water Efficiency has a wealth of information about advancing water conservation –

16 Conservation as a Water Supply Strategy 2014 Kent Butler Summit – Faucets, Toilets, & Automobiles Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club P. O. Box 1931 Austin, TX


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