The comprehensive report outlines goals for the city of
"This is our first go at it," Conservation and Energy Resource Manager
Hendon said staff has been working on the plan since the beginning of the year. It was a requirement from the
The project increased the city's water pumping capacity from 24 million gallons per day to 30 million. The city receives its water from
According to calculations in the report compiled by
Without conservation measures in place, it's predicted that usage would come close to or exceed the 30 million gallons per day capacity by 2030, meaning the city would need to expand operations further. Part of the last expansion included infrastructure for additional future pipes, and it's estimated it would cost
There are six goals outlined in the plan that the Utilities Service Board approved this week: reduce per capita and city water use, reduce real and apparent water loss, postpone the need for future expansion projects, increase water conservation literacy, improve drought preparedness and protect environmental resources.
In order to achieve those goals, there are 19 measures described, including a water audit, leak detection and repair program, public outreach and education campaign, an improved drought contingency plan, research into alternative pricing methods and possible rebates for customers.
The measures have been split into three implementation phases. The first phase, which will occur throughout the rest of the year and into 2015, includes most of the outreach programs and an analysis of supply-side operations to get started drafting a water loss control plan. For example, customers might have noticed an insert that was mailed along with April's bill. Other public campaigns will include teaching residents the benefits of water conservation and actions they can take to reduce water waste. Utilities will also take advantage of its website and social media to inform customers.
Phase two is scheduled to happen from 2016-2020, and focuses on measures that take more time to carry out. This would include testing meters, starting a leak detection and repair program and sending peak notifications to all users.
The last phase is slated for 2021-2024 and involves plans that would be expensive or require a significant amount of time and collaboration. For example, the conservation plan mentions the possibility of introducing city legislation to influence water conservation and exploring other pricing methods.
"It's hard to just say one specific part of it is important," Hendon said. "I think it's just important for utilities to focus on the big picture."
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