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The Alliance for Water Efficiency just released a new tool that is designed to help water utilities evaluate the water savings, costs and benefits of specific water conservation programs. Coined the Water Conservation Tracking Tool, this MS Excel based model can be promoted by river and watershed groups who want to encourage their local utility to invest in water conservation programs.
While I have not been able to use the tool yet, I was able to view screen shots of it a few months back and it appears to be a very robust and useful product that has been beta tested with a number of water utilities. Although you have to be an Alliance for Water Efficiency member to use the tool, you can still encourage your local water utility to sign up and begin evaluating the potential benefits of water conservation.
From the Alliance for Water Efficiency's website:
Need help in planning your water conservation programs? The Alliance for Water Efficiency now has a solution for you. Many months in development, and partially funded by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation, the AWE Water Conservation Tracking Tool v1 has been finished after a successful beta testing period with a number of water utilities. The Tool -- complete with a detailed User Guide -- is available free of charge to all AWE members in good standing.
What the Tracking Tool Is
The Tool is an Excel-based model that can evaluate the water savings, costs, and benefits of conservation programs for a specific water utility. Using information entered into the Tool from the utility’s system, it provides a standardized methodology for water savings and benefit-cost accounting and includes a library of pre-defined conservation activities from which users can construct conservation programs.
Water utility managers can use the Tool in a variety of ways to aid their water resource planning and operations:
- Quickly compare alternative conservation measures in terms of their water savings potential, impact on system costs, and potential benefits to utility customers.
- Develop long-range conservation plans. Construct conservation portfolios containing up to 50 separate conservation program activities.
- Track the implementation, water savings, costs, and benefits of actual conservation activities over time.
- Evaluate a utility’s changing revenue requirement with conservation.
The Tool counts the savings achieved from national plumbing code and appliance standards. For California and Texas, states that have stricter requirements for toilets by 2014, a separate version of the model is available for them that incorporates these new legislative changes.
How the Alliance Will Help
The Alliance will provide a detailed User Guide with the Tool, as well as one (1) hour of free technical assistance to any member using the Tool. We have also set up a thread in our discussion forum to help you with your questions. And let us know your experiences with the Tool! We would like to feature successful examples of the Tool in use on our web site, so please let us know how it has worked for you.
How to Get the Tracking Tool