Water Conservation Measures
This page is one of a series on Water Conservation and addresses state water efficiency requirements. It is intended to supplement pages of the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Washington State Department of Health by providing additional references and local government examples.
Water Efficiency Requirements
In 2003, the Washington State Legislature passed the Municipal Water Supply - Efficiency Requirements Act, RCW 70.119.180, (2003 Session Laws, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 5 () Municipal Water Supply-Efficiency Requirements) which directed the Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water, to adopt water use efficiency rules by December 2005. The water use efficiency program became effective January 22, 2007. See the Washington State Department of Health Water Use Efficiency webpage. Water use efficiency elements include planning requirements, distribution leakage standards, water use efficiency goal-setting, and performance reporting.
Department of Health Water Efficiency References
Source and service metering are key to a successful water use efficiency program. Source and service meters provide the data necessary for determining leakage, to assist in managing an important resource, and to enhance planning activities. All municipal water suppliers must meter their existing and new service connections. The new regulations are summarized in Chapter 2 of the Water Use Efficiency Guidebook ().
Water Leak Detection
A distribution system leakage (DSL) standard is a significant element of the new water use efficiency (WUE) requirements. Guidelines and information on creating DSL standards are contained below.
- Distribution System Leakage (), Ch. 6, Water Use Efficiency Guidebook, Department of Health, 3rd edition, 2011
- Reduce Leaks: Using Water Audits and Leak Detection Survey (), Department of Health DOH Publication No. 331-388, 2008
- Water Accounting and Loss Control - Level 1 Measure in Appendix A, Water Conservation Plan Guidelines, Environmental Protection Agency, 1998 - Listed as EPA Water Sense Resource
- Water Audits and Leak Detection, Second Edition, American Water Works Association, 1999 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
- Water Loss Control, WaterWiser, American Water Works Association (AWWA)
Conservation Pricing - Water Rates
One of the most effective tools for water conservation is the rate structure. Rate structures and practices that promote the efficient use of water should be the goal to ensure sufficient resources to meet competing uses.
- Conservation Pricing of Water and Wastewater (), by Holly Stallworth, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000
- Water Rates: Paying for Drinking Water (), Department of Health Questions & Answers, DOH 331-327, updated January 2011
- Description of Conservation-Oriented Rate Structures () from Conservation-Oriented Rates for Washington Public Water Systems in Washington: Report to the Legislature, Department of Health, 1995, pp. 4-5, 19-25
- Pricing Structures, Water: Sustainable Infrastructure, Environmental Protection Agency
- Tiered Water Rates, Overview of tiered block rate structures by the AWWA Rates & Charges Committee - See also Related AWWA Resources
- Water Rates That Encourage Conservation, MRSC - Sample Conservation Rate Structures
Standards for water reuse were developed under the authority of and pursuant to specific requirements in Ch. 90.46 RCW.
- Graywater Reuse, Department of Health - Design and management requirements
- Reclaimed Water, Department of Ecology - Legislation, rule development, permitting, resources and guidance
Local Government Examples
- Overcoming Barriers to Graywater Reuse, AWWA Streamlines, Vol. 3, No. 16, June 28, 2011
- Water Recycling and Reuse: The Environmental Benefit, Environmental Protection Aagency, Region 9
- Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation's Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater, Committee on the Assessment of Water Reuse as an Approach to Meeting Future Water Supply Needs, National Research Council. National Academies Press, 2012 - Copy can be purchased or viewed online
- WaterReuse Association - An international group of organizations and individuals working together to improve and increase local water supplies
Information and education are critical to the success of any conservation program.
- Washington State Department of Health Water Efficiency Links
- Drinking Water, The National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (NDWC), National Environmental Services Center, West Virginia University
- Handbook of water use and conservation: homes, landscapes, businesses, industries, farms, by Amy Vickers, 2001 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
- Useful Links Related to Greywater Reuse, Recycling, and Water Conservation, Washington State Department of Health
- Using the Water Bill to Foster Conservation (), by Jeff Hoffman, On Tap, Winter 2010
- Water Conservation Programs: A Planning Manual, American Water Works Association, 2005 (Available through MRSC Library Loan)
- Water Efficiency: The Journal for Water Conservation Professionals, Forrester Communications