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Water Conservation Opportunities in Rockland County Stuart Braman April 2, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Conservation Opportunities in Rockland County Stuart Braman April 2, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Conservation Opportunities in Rockland County Stuart Braman April 2, 2013


3 Single Family Residential Water Use in Rockland County, 2000-2009 (based on UW customer data) Gallons per capita per day May-August precipitation Average use (indoor + outdoor) 2000-2009 68.018.3 inches Highest annual average use during period - 2001 72.913.6 inches Lowest annual average use during period - 2009 62.525.7 inches

4 Indoor vs. Outdoor Single Family Residential Water Use in Rockland County, 2000-2009 (based on UW customer data) Indoor Use (gpcd) Outdoor Use (gpcd) Average use 2000-2009 62.2 11.5 Highest use during period 65.0 (2001) 18.6 (2007) Lowest use during period 60.2 (2009) 3.5 (2002)

5 Single family residential indoor water use benchmarks Pre-1994 inefficient (David Broustis, Seattle) 70+ gpcd 1997 intensive research on 12 communities (Aquacraft) 69 gpcd 2008 estimated water use for standard new construction (EPA) 50 gpcd 1997 conserving home (AWWA) 45 gpcd 2008 WaterSense conserving home (EPA) 40 gpcd 2008 super-efficient home (David Broustis, Seattle) 25 gpcd

6 Water Conservation Potential in Rockland County, in theory Single-family Residential – 10% reduction from 62gpcd to 56gpcd 210587 people x 6gpcd = 1.3 mgd – Contribution to addressing future water supply needs is meaningful, though not sufficient to meet projected needs

7 Desal DEIS on Water Conservation History of conservation measures reviewed – Public education and customer outreach (since 1970s) – Increasing block rate structure (1981) – Distribution of residential retrofit kits (1983, 1993, 1994, 2007) – Guides to use of ET (1992) – Automatic meter reader monitoring (1992) – Multifamily residential billing and audits (1994) – Guides to water-efficient landscaping (2007) Estimated impact of additional code-driven water conservation upgrades – 0.5%/year, net of 0.1% per year reduction in water use taking into account new construction impact additional conservation measures will not be feasible as a means to avoid the need for a long-term water supply project

8 Desal DEIS on Water Conservation - 2 "The other alternatives examined do not provide sufficient increases in safe yield on their own and in most instances would likely be difficult to implement with no certainty of success." "A combination or composite of more than one alternative would be less efficient, inherently more energy-intensive, more costly, and more prone to disruption and repair. A combination of alternatives would also require substantially more management by United Water to oversee both construction and operations of these multiple systems." "In summary, while any single alternative may be worthy of continued interest and planning by United Water as it manages its water supply into the future, there is no readily available combination of alternatives sufficient to be a viable composite alternative compared to the Proposed Project. "

9 The question remained – can increased water conservation make a difference, or not? Concerned citizens suggest conservation can play more of a role in meeting future needs 2010 back of the envelope calculation suggests some but not all future needs could be met by increased water conservation Two Columbia Sustainable Development Workshops took a closer look in 2012

10 Spring 2012 Columbia Sustainable Development Workshop Objective Estimate the water savings and the costs and benefits of possible conservation programs both from the perspective of the utility and the individual

11 Seven possible programs analyzed 1,2. High efficiency toilet rebates (single family residential and commercial) 3. High efficiency washer rebates (single family residential) 4. Efficient outdoor water use ordinance (single family residential) 5. Water efficient nozzle giveaway (single family residential) 6. Water efficient irrigation controller rebates 7. Water efficient pre-rinse spray nozzle giveaway(Commercial)

12 Workshop Results for all 7 programs combined (including second workshop due diligence and sensitivity analysis) Optimistic ScenarioPessimistic Scenario Benefit Cost Ratio (utility) 1.24 1.19 Water savings 2015 (mgd) 2.08 0.60 Water savings 2016 (mgd) 2.29 0.71 Water savings 2021 (mgd) 3.15 1.14

13 What can an individual do? Install high efficiency toilets Install high efficiency washers Practice efficient outdoor water use – determine the amount to water based on evapotranspiration info – use water efficient nozzles – use water efficient irrigation controllers and irrigation controller settings

14 What can Rockland County and its towns and villages do? The county, the towns and villages can enact outdoor water conservation ordinances Towns and villages can enact local laws to require permitting for in-ground irrigation systems Intervenors in the next rate case can push the PSC to require UW to incorporate water conservation programs for which they are accountable. Any interested party can be an intervenor.

15 What would accountability mean? An individual assigned responsibility for managing the overall program Regular and transparent goal setting Monitoring progress Transparent adjustment of programs based on results Incorporation of results into water supply planning process

16 Fall 2012 Columbia Sustainable Development Workshop Ordinance Project objective Study the experiences of communities that have adopted non-emergency outdoor water conservation ordinances, in order to better understand successes, failures and the details of implementation to provide a foundation for the Rockland County legislature to consider its own ordinance.

17 Port Washington Water District, Nassau County, NY Case Study Local water situation – 48.8" average annual precipitation – All water supply from groundwater – Persistent saltwater intrusion concerns County non-emergency outdoor water conservation ordinance enacted in 1987, following DEC pumpage caps – Alternate Day Watering before 10am and after 4pm – Air conditioner recycling, car wash recycling – Enforced by police, only when a resident calls to complain Local Port Washington ordinance – Alternate day watering first passed in 1953

18 Port Washington Case Study - 2 In 1987 when County passed alternate day watering law the Port Washington Water District passed an in-ground lawn irrigation permit law limit 10 gallons/minute must have rain sensor and a pressure regulating valve existing systems must come up to spec Applications must be sent to the Board for a new sprinkler system – Copies of the plan, location of rain sensing/soil moisture devices – Table with flow capacity of sprinkler heads – Sketch of pressure regulating valve – Manufacturers information about rain sensing, soil moisture detection devices – Board must inspect the location and application and grant approval before customers may install and use sprinkler systems. $100/review, paid by resident, perfomed by consultant Board sets time for violator to correct offense. If violator does not comply, his/her water supply may be cut off Rockland lesson: local governments can address the biggest risk directly with controls on in-ground irrigation

19 Santa Fe, New Mexico Case Study Average annual precipitation: 13.58", droughts are common City supplied by reservoirs, groundwater and water from the Rio Grande Water supplier publicly owned since 1995 at which point city became responsible for water supply, water conservation programs and public awareness programs – Comprehensive Water Conservation Requirements ordinance passed in 1997, followed by severe drought in 2002 – Citizen "Water Conservation Committee" meets regularly to assess water conservation programs Approach – emergency water use restrictions from drought periods adopted into city code for non- emergency use – long-term water use reduction plans in place as well as ordinances – No outdoor watering 10am - 6pm, May to October. – No sidewalk washing with a hose – No more than 25% Kentucky bluegrass – New irrigation systems require permits

20 Santa Fe, New Mexico Case Study - 2 Evolution from enforcement to public education and outreach. – Citations remain an option but resources shifted to education over the past decade, funded both from the general operating budget and a $5 annual levy on the April water bill. The pendulum has swung and citizens are now asking for more enforcement Rockland Lesson: persistent citizen involvement in conservation planning, ongoing investment in education pay off

21 Resources on Water Conservation in Rockland County These powerpoints will be up on the Lamont's Rockland water website Lamont-Doherty Rockland Water website, or Google Rockland Water Home. Join the website mailing list before leaving to be notified when new material is added, or email after leaving. Rockland County Department of Health water conservation tips - pick up a copy here United Water conservation tips and ET information - Braman and Gruber paper on the history of water conservation and water supply planning in Rockland County, published by the Center for Regional Research Education and Outreach Sustainable Development workshop student reports - outdoor water conservation ordinance case studies and benefit-cost analysis sensitivity analysis - 2012-sustainable-development-workshop-s/ 2012-sustainable-development-workshop-s/

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