Topic: Water Conservation


Wichita Falls Sees Wastewater Recycling As Solution

Excerpt: Wichita Falls could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Excerpt: Mayor Glenn Barham says three years of extreme drought have changed life for 104,000 people living in Wichita Falls, which is about 140 miles northwest of Dallas.

“(There’s) no outside irrigation whatsoever with potable water. Car washes are closed one day a week. If you drain your pool to do maintenance you aren’t allowed to fill it,” he explained.

Excerpt: Nix says the extra treatment will eliminate unwanted minerals and pathogens like cryptosporidium and giardia.

“We just don’t have time to put the water out in a body of water, a wetlands, or lake and allow nature to take its course,” Nix said. “Inside the treatment plant, we speed those processes up so rather than wait several weeks for UV rays from the sun to disinfect or kill bacteria we do it in the plant using chlorine. It takes a matter of minutes to do it instead of weeks.”

Arizona Town Runs Low on Water

Excerpt: Officials in the community about 60 miles from the Grand Canyon's South Rim have clamped down on water use and declared a crisis amid a drought that is quickly drying up nearby reservoirs and forcing the city to pump its only two wells to capacity.

Excerpt: Officials in Williams jumped straight to the most severe restrictions after receiving only about 6 inches of precipitation from October to April — about half of normal levels — and a bleak forecast that doesn't include much rain. City leaders acknowledge the move is extreme but say it's the only way to make the city has enough water to survive.

Excerpt: "We don't have enough water to waste it," said Evans, president of the Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

In Williams, Moore recently looked out at the reservoirs surrounding town in anticipation of a monsoon season that could help replenish them.

"We know in due time, the lakes will fill back up, the snow will come," he said.

Kingman, Golden Valley use too much water

Excerpt: Water use in Kingman and Golden Valley is outstripping supply, according to hydrologists with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Excerpt: Annual water demand in Golden Valley from the Sacramento Valley Basin exceeded yearly supplies by about 2,400 acre-feet, and annual water demands in Kingman from the Hualapai Basin exceeded yearly supplies by about 5,600 acre-feet, said a USGS report presented to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors Monday.

Excerpt: The onus to resolving the county's water issue rests with the Board of Supervisors, said state Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, who attended Monday's meeting.

Excerpt: The board tasked County Supervisor Mike Hendrix to work with the U.S. Geological Survey to determine what that additional study would specifically require, and to present his findings to the board at a later date.

An Innovative Conservation Fund for the Colorado River

Excerpt: The four largest cities that get their drinking water from the Colorado River are gearing up to pilot an innovative conservation scheme that pays farmers, industries and municipalities to reduce their use of the river’s water.

Excerpt: The fund would pay for voluntary reductions in water use – whether by fallowing farm fields, installing more efficient irrigation systems, recycling industrial supplies, or other means– but the savings would benefit the basin as a whole by increasing reservoir storage and thereby mitigating shortages.

Excerpt: By collaboratively creating an incentive for basin-wide conservation, the big four urban water users and the Bureau of Reclamation have an opportunity to bring more resilience and adaptability to the drought-stricken, overtapped Colorado River.

San Joaquin Valley sinking

Excerpt: Now that bounty is threatened by a crisis of geological proportions: The land is sinking – crippling the region’s irrigation and flood control infrastructure and damaging aquifers that are buffers against climate change.

Nature, though, is not to blame. This problem is self-inflicted, driven by the frontier-style exploitation of the last unregulated resource in California: groundwater.

Excerpt: Today’s drama is only the latest chapter in a long-running saga of sinking. Three generations ago, so much groundwater was pumped from aquifers that half the valley sank like a giant pie crust, sagging 28 feet near Mendota and inflicting damage to irrigation canals, pipelines, bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

Excerpt: “Obviously, nobody wants to be regulated any more than we are,” Michael said. “But I think maybe we have to have somebody step in. People are probably going to be upset that I would say something like that. We have to find ways to protect the resource that we have.

“There are all kinds of surface regulations (for water) and you’ve got this Wild West underneath the ground. The chickens are coming home to roost, unfortunately,” Michael said.

Colorado River Water Managers Plan for Persistent Drought

Excerpt: The severe risks of an extended drought in the Colorado River Basin – a shutdown of hydropower generation, functionally empty lakes, and restrictions on water use – are forcing the basin’s seven states to consider unprecedented changes in how they manage a scarce resource.

Excerpt: “We’ve never had to do this before because we never planned for this degree of low water storage,” Don Ostler, executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission, an administrative body, told Circle of Blue. “We want to plan for extreme hydrology the likes of which we have never seen.”

Excerpt: “We’re certainly having discussions about existing drought and contingency planning for an ongoing sustained drought,” said Colby Pellegrino, who handles Colorado River issues for Southern Nevada Water Authority, the state’s largest water utility. “But we’re not to a point where we can say what those options will be.”

Arizona’s long-term water future

Excerpt: More than century of planning has brought Arizona to this point, starting with the Salt River Project and decades of arduous negotiations that led to a supply of Colorado River water. So have the landmark Groundwater Management Act of 1980 and a system of banking some of the state’s Colorado River allotment in aquifers.

Excerpt: In January, an Arizona Department of Water Resources report pointed to the potential for a long-term imbalance between available water and demands over the next century. It said that Arizona will need to develop additional water supplies over the next 25 to 100 years to keep pace with growth.

Excerpt: “What we need right now is a deeper understanding by policymakers about what our situation is,” he said. “I want someone who will look at the complex solutions, not the short easy ones.”
Pickard, the CAP board president, said this election year will test which politicians are ready to make Arizona’s water future a priority.
“When Arizonans can unquestionably turn on the tap and get water without question, we’re doing our job,” she said. “We don’t want our customers to have to think about whether there will be water or not.”

April is Arizona Water Awareness Month

Excerpt: Ideas, tips, resources and events to help you conserve water and get more info about Arizona's most precious resource, WATER!

Cities committed to wise water use

Excerpt: Potential water shortages have been in the news lately, reminding us desert-dwellers that we need to use water wisely. While others talk about the need to conserve, the cities of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association walk the walk, implementing comprehensive programs to shrink demand, with plans in place to manage drought and preserve our water supplies for future generations.

Excerpt: Maybe you've heard of Water — Use It Wisely. AMWUA cities developed this program to help our residents to conserve, and more than 400 communities and organizations across North America have adopted it. Our cities also implement 305 management practices to reduce water use, including water rates to encourage conservation, rebates for converting turf to water-efficient landscaping, and water-saving plumbing retrofits for low-income residents.

Wise water use is the key to desert living. The AMWUA cities are committed to the task.

A pulse of life at the mouth of the Colorado

Excerpt: A river bled dry by thirsty cities and farms in two countries will flow once again through northern Mexico later this month in an international experiment in habitat restoration.

Excerpt: Under the watchful eyes of researchers from a bi-national scientific team, the initial flood from Morelos Dam — a mile south of where California, Arizona and Mexico adjoin — will build and then ebb through May 18. The goal is to spur growth along the river channel, which historically harbored native, flood-adapted willow and cottonwood trees.

Excerpt: The 105,000 acre-feet to be released during the pulse represents less than 1 percent of the river’s flow in an average year, but it should be enough to reconnect the Colorado to the sea — temporarily.

If advocates hope to restore the flow for good, they will have to persuade users to consume less and cooperate even more.

Testing Recycled Waste Water Complete

Excerpt: Wichita Falls water users should have recycled waste water coming to their homes and businesses in May.

Excerpt: Today was the last of 40 days of testing required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to ensure the water is safe to drink.

All preliminary tests show the recycled water is safe to drink. Officials at the Cypress Treatment Plant say so far the project has had very few glitches.

Excerpt: If they say the water is safe, then officials will take 7 and a half million gallons of the water that gets flushed down toilets and washed down drains to the River Road Waste Water Plant, then pump it back to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant. That water will go through 4 treatment process, turning it into 5 million gallons of recycled water, blending it with 5 million gallons of water from Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo for a total of ten million gallons coming from the treatment plant to faucets.

Arizona's drinking-water needs will force trade-offs

Excerpt: Meeting the drinking-water needs of Arizona’s future population will force residents to live with trade-offs. But as more people move here and are born here, they may not have a choice, state officials say.

Excerpt: Instead of pushing big water projects, the state should look at reducing water demand and seriously consider whether the growth envisioned in the report is achievable, desirable or sustainable, the Sierra Club said.

Excerpt: The water study was not an academic exercise — it was designed to spur action, said Lacey, the state water director. The agency hopes for broader public participation in water issues than anytime since Arizona’s landmark Groundwater Management Act passed in 1980, he said.

Day of reckoning for parched Southwest

Excerpt: When it comes to water in America, this truth is self-evident: We are guzzlers from sea to shining sea. Nowhere, though, are the effects of our thirst as visible and self-destructive as they are in the Southwest, the fastest-growing and driest region of the country, where just one long and lonely river, the Colorado, must slake the needs of seven states.

Excerpt: It's not seriously disputed that the region's water shortfall is large and will become worse, even in the absence of drought. Likewise, it is widely acknowledged that increasingly strict conservation measures will soon become the norm in the region. What is striking, however, is the reluctance of state officials, builders, and others to acknowledge two more truths that the weight of evidence points to: first, that the relentless growth the Southwest has become accustomed to over the last half-century is unsustainable; second, that either in a planned way executed over time to cushion shock or disruptively after more years of whistling past the graveyard, growth of population and industry will slow and stop.

Excerpt: "The Western dream," he says, "is going to come with an asterisk that says 'P.S. Bring your own water.'"

Is the West's dry spell a megadrought?

Excerpt: The drought that has been afflicting most of the Western states for 13 years may be a “megadrought,” and the likelihood is high that this century could see a multidecade dry spell like nothing else seen for 1,000 years, according to research presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting last week.

Excerpt: He said that the chances of a widespread multidecade megadrought are high in the worst-case scenario, but he quoted University of Arizona geosciences professor Jonathan Overpeck to characterize the chances of megadrought in less severe scenarios: “It’s extremely non-negligible, the risk of prolonged multidecadal megadrought.”

The bottom line: “The picture looks like we’re going to have to take this seriously,” Ault said.

How not to kill the mighty Colorado River

Excerpt: The challenges in the Colorado River basin are large, but the good news is that cost effective solutions are available and already being tested in different parts of the basin. Implementing these solutions now will be good not only for the region’s iconic Colorado River, but also for the region’s economy.

The reality is this economic engine and lifeline of the West is running out of fuel. The Colorado River literally dries to a trickle before it even reaches the sea. Increasing populations, extended drought and uncertain future weather patterns undermine a secure water future for the region.

Excerpt: A more efficient water future will not only create a more secure water supply, but will also provide a boost to the economy. Farmers can increase productivity and use less water by upgrading aging irrigation systems. And they can reap financial rewards from voluntarily sharing some of their saved water with cities and rivers.

Biggest Water Losses Are Groundwater

Excerpt: During presentations this week at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, announced that the region’s most visible signs of drought – shrinking reservoirs – are dwarfed by groundwater losses.

Excerpt: From March 2005 to June 2013, the Colorado River Basin lost 5.7 cubic kilometers (4.6 million acre-feet) of water per year, or more than 47 cubic kilometers (38 million acre-feet) over the 100-month study period. The cumulative losses are equal to 1.3 times the storage capacity of Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir. Most of the water losses are attributed to groundwater pumping, mainly for irrigated agriculture.

Excerpt: If the federal government’s river-flow forecast holds true, the lower release from Powell will set up the Lower Basin for a shortage that could be declared as early as 2015 or 2016. Such a declaration is based on how much water is in Lake Mead. Arizona and Nevada would be the only states to endure water restrictions at this first shortage tier. Moreover, water managers in Arizona told Circle of Blue in August that they would weather cuts in water deliveries from the river by pumping more groundwater.

Dry with chance of shortage

Excerpt: There's a better than 50 percent chance of an official water shortage being declared in 2016 for the Lower Colorado River Basin as a result of the drought that has gripped the river's watershed for the last 14 years.

Excerpt: That's if the current trend continues, Daniel Bunk, a hydrologist for the Lower Colorado Region with the the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, told the Colorado River Citizens Forum Wednesday during an update on the status of the Colorado River Basin.

He noted that 2000 to 2013 was the driest 14-year period in more than 100 years of historical record. And based on tree ring studies, it is the fourth or fifth driest period in the past 1,200 years.

Excerpt: If a shortage is declared by the Secretary of the Interior, Arizona would bear by far the biggest impact, according to an agreement in 2007 that established shortage sharing guidelines. Under the guidelines, Arizona, which is allocated 2.8 million acre-feet of Colorado River water a year, would receive 320,000 acre-feet less water. Nevada would receive 13,000 acre-feet less water and Mexico 50,000 acre-feet less. California would not be impacted.

Water summit garners support for water conservation

Excerpt: Population growth, drought and increasing demand are challenging the Colorado River and threatening Western economies and outdoor lifestyles.

"In order to meet those challenges, we have to acknowledge that the current management and current use of the river is unsustainable. We've got to start from that point," said Udall, addressing the first Business of Water Corporate Leaders Summit in Denver, hosted by Protect the Flows, a network of almost 1,000 businesses advocating for protection of the 1,450-mile river.

Excerpt: Every speaker offered concrete strategies for not just protecting water but educating consumers on its value. George Wendt urges the 3,000 people a year who float his OARS rafts down the Colorado River to support conservation. Broomfield's WhiteWave Foods makes sure consumers know its plant-based drinks require 77 percent less water per half gallon than cow milk. MGM Resorts International is fighting to include water conservation in energy-saving metrics that often focus only on reducing carbon impact.

Excerpt: "Conserving the great outdoors is a long-term investment in jobs that can't be outsourced," said Udall, who suggested that a balance between increased conservation and wastewater treatment, expanding storage and recharging groundwater supplies would alleviate pressure on the Colorado River.

7 Ways to Become a Water Conservation Hero

Excerpt: Step 1 – Admit there is a problem
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Water use has been growing at more than the rate twice of population increase in the last century
By 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions

Excerpt: Step 2 – Educate yourself
One of our favorite regular guests on the Green Divas Radio Show is Jessica Arinella from the What You Can Do video series. She is also a water hero. She has produced several very educational short videos that help us understand not only why, but how to help conserve and create healthier water supplies. Here’s a link to a Green Divas Radio Show featuringJessica Arinella talking about water conservation.
I would also recommend the UN page on water statistics.

Pilot program makes saving water fun

Excerpt: By participating in the Conserve to Enhance pilot program, Mier says she found an easy and fun way to restore the environment.

Excerpt: The program helped her and her housemates get their daily water use down to 30 gallons per person. The average Tucsonan uses between 90 and 100 gallons a day.

She saved $5 a month, which she donated to Conserve to Enhance projects.

The pilot program, which ends this year, kept track of her water savings, sent a monthly newsletter on water-saving tips and offered educational events and workshops.

Water saving may lead to big stink

Excerpt: Sewage systems around the world are plagued by the problem of odour and corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide gas from the anaerobic decomposition of human waste and waste water.

The traditional sewage system relies on masses of water to flush through waste and avoid such problems, but this doesn't always happen.

Excerpt: If everyone installed rainwater tanks, thereby reducing their use of potable water by 40 per cent, Marleni's model found the odour level would increase just a little to 5.1 parts per million, and the associated hydrogen sulfide would knock 6 years off the life of the pipes due to corrosion.

But if everyone shifted to greywater reuse this would give the "worst scenario", says Marleni.

The reuse of waste water from the bathroom and laundry to water the garden and flush toilets would reduce potable water consumption by 70 per cent, resulting in a much greater impact on odour and corrosion.

Excerpt: "There are many problems with sewers and low flows are one of them," says White.

"These are long-standing problems despite water efficiency and it's true that water efficiency could make it worse; but then if it rains you get the opposite problem."

White says decentralised treatment of sewage, using pumped smaller-diameter systems that are well sealed and have storage and better controls on flows and loads will help the problems we face with sewers.

As will reducing the biological and nutrient loads on sewers through what we put in them.

7 Ways To Conserve Water This Thanksgiving

Excerpt: When you think about Thanksgiving, you might envision a turkey dinner, or spending time with your family. However, do you ever think about water conservation?

1) Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave and not under running water.
2) Rinse vegetables in a sink or basin filled with water. A running faucet uses three to five gallons of water per minute.
3) Do not dump fats, oils or grease from cooking turkey down the drain. It can clog your plumbing system and harm the environment. Weld County’s Household Hazardous Waste program collects cooking oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., except on holidays like Thanksgiving. (The Weld County Household Hazardous Waste Facility is located at 1311 N. 17th Avenue in Greeley.)
4) Use your garbage disposal sparingly. A better option is to compost kitchen waste. (The City of Greeley and Weld County have developed a handbook to help people get started composting.)
5) Presoak utensils and dishes in a sink filled with water rather than in running water.
6) Only run full loads in the dishwasher. This shouldn't be too difficult with large family meals, although you may have to run your dishwasher more than once.
7) If you wash your dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, gather the washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan full of hot water.

By conserving water, we make a difference

Excerpt: Upon closer examination, right there on the outside of the bag were 15 ways we all can use water more wisely.

One might think these are all common-sense suggestions — and you would be correct. But with San Angelo having less than two years of water remaining, anything and everything each of us can do will make a difference. They include:

Sweep it away. Use a broom, not the water hose, to clean sidewalks and driveways.

Slow the flow. Install a water-saving showerhead.

Excerpt: Nothing earth-shattering in the above recommendations, but collectively they add up to saving not only our water, but also our money.

We all know about the little boy throwing back into the ocean one of several starfish he found on the beach, and telling the inquisitive stranger that it makes a difference at least for that one starfish. Imagine what each of us can do, as individuals and as a caring community, by becoming better stewards of our precious water here in the Concho Valley.

Water management allows delay of tougher restrictions

Excerpt: First, San Antonio has the most effective water conservation program in the nation. We have become so efficient with water use that representatives from cities around the globe have traveled here to learn how we manage customer demand.

Distinct from drought restrictions, which help us manage pumping during a drought, water conservation is a year-round effort that has become a valuable part of our city's culture.

Excerpt: Finally, we take seriously the ramifications of imposing every-other-week watering restrictions on the community. We will always ensure that Stage 3 is imposed only when other alternatives do not exist.

This kind of analysis is continually conducted at SAWS, accounting even for infrastructure maintenance or emergency pump failures when they may arise. So I couldn't object more to assertions in recent headlines that we are gambling on the prospect of rainfall.

Excerpt: A continued commitment to water conservation and investment in new supplies must remain a priority for San Antonio. Thoughtful decisions and successful management will continue to yield benefits in the future.

Water Conservation in Durango

Excerpt: La Plata County saw those same images up close as the Animas River shrunk to near-record lows and crops shriveled in parched fields. Many farmers in the western part of the county faced a summer without irrigation water.

But because of water rights that date back to 1882, Durango’s water kept flowing as usual, pumping an average of 128.5 million gallons per month to our thirsty city. That water keeps taps flowing, washing machines running and lawn sprinklers sputtering.

Excerpt: While water conservation can reduce consumption to a point, a large chunk of the city’s water isn’t reaching paying customers. About 20 percent of the city’s treated water is unaccounted for, stemming from meter inaccuracies, unmetered water and leaking pumps.

Excerpt: “In order to meet the coming infrastructure challenge nationwide we’re going to have recover the appropriate value we place on our water systems,” Kail said. “When we truly understand that value, we’ll be in a much better place to invest in the systems in a way that’s necessary to maintain them at levels we have come to expect.”

UCI researcher urges better use of repurposed water

Excerpt: A recent article by a UC Irvine researcher argues that more of the water that normally runs off into storm drains should be repurposed and used to water plants and flush toilets.

Lead author Stanley Grant said so-called graywater and wastewater from washing dishes or showering, and rainwater that normally runs into storm drains, can be used at times when using water of drinkable quality is not required.

Reusing graywater can reduce a household's water consumption — and its bill — by 50% or more, he said.

Excerpt: Locally, the Mesa Consolidated Water District, which serves Costa Mesa, parts of Newport Beach, John Wayne Airport and the Orange County Fairgrounds, provides rebates for smart irrigation and makes house calls for those interested in saving water around their home, according to Communications Manager Stacy Taylor.

It also boasts one of the highest rates of consumer water conservation in the county, she said.

"As part of the district's mission, [Mesa Water] supports developing local and reliable sources of water, including groundwater treatment, recycled water and conservation," Taylor said. "Becoming more efficient with how we use water today is a key component to maintaining a reliable water supply for tomorrow."

8 Easy Ways to Save Water This Summer

Excerpt: Saving water is particularly important during the summer, when the days are hot and the rainfall sporadic at best. It's even more so this year as much of the country faces an unrelenting drought. If you want to cut your water bills or just do your part to conserve a precious resource, here are a few smart tips to reduce water usage around the house.


Water Conserve
Water conservation information and news
My Water Pledge
My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the US to see who can be the most “water-wise.” Mayors nationwide will challenge their residents to conserve water energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city through a series of informative, easy-to-use pledges online.