WaterNow has had the privilege of assisting cities and water agencies that have become champions of sustainable and affordable change in their communities with innovative projects. In the continuation of this program, we are happy to announce 3 Colorado Basin Accelerator Projects that we will be working with this Summer and Fall! We had a fantastic response to the Accelerator invitation and will be announcing further Accelerator Projects in other parts of the nation later this summer.
Drumroll please... WaterNow is pleased to announce our Summer 2020 Project Accelerators:
- City of Greeley, CO
- Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, UT
- Summit County & High Country Conservation Center, CO
We are excited to be working with our partner, Western Resource Advocates, on all three of these Projects, described below.
Enhancing Water Efficiency Portfolio through Performance Analysis – City of Greeley, CO
Greeley’s extensive water conservation programs have been successful at reducing the City’s potable water demand and keeping water rates affordable. These programs include free irrigation audits, direct installation of smart irrigation controllers, a water-budget based rate structure, and a cash-for-grass pilot program among others. Now Greeley would like to optimize these programs through cost-benefit analysis and review of other important metrics such as socioeconomic status of participants, age and geographic distribution, and the value of each program to the City’s residents. This analysis will drive the City’s next Water Efficiency Plan.
WaterNow and WRA will support development of the program performance analysis strategy and tool in various ways including interviews with cities and utilities that have employed exemplary tools for cost-benefit analysis, develop the analysis tool, conduct a qualitative survey to gather relevant data from customers, and develop a set of recommendations for programmatic updates based on this analysis. WNA and WRA will also compile the aggregate summary data into a report to be shared widely with other Colorado cities and utilities to help inform their water efficiency program development. Optimizing our water efficiency programs is an important step in identifying our most effective water savings opportunities.
Exploring Options for Improved Indoor Water Efficiency Standards – Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, Utah
Like many of its peers throughout Utah and the West, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District faces challenges when it comes to water supplies, population growth, and climate change/drought. JVWCD recently adopted new water efficiency standards, which are expected to be implemented by its member agencies in the next several years, and it is interested in identifying best practices and notable examples for how other wholesale suppliers can best assist member agencies in implementing water efficiency standards of their own, as well as other water saving approaches.
WaterNow and WRA will work with the JVWCD to identify multiple ways its member agencies can meet the new water efficiency standards, thereby improving water security and reliability throughout JVWCD’s service area. We will help create a model landscape ordinance that includes best practices for water efficient landscaping in multiple sectors. This type of model ordinance takes the burden of developing a whole new ordinance off the member agencies, and already includes many of the best practices that just need to be tailored to each member agency. Additionally, we will identify specific areas of the Utah plumbing code that could be modified to give local jurisdictions more flexibility in adopting their own water efficient plumbing standards by examining surrounding western state’s plumbing code and identifying best practices for encouraging water efficiency. All of these efforts will help ensure JVWCD’s water security and reliability in the coming years.
Development of a Regional Outdoor Water Efficiency Program - Summit County & High Country Conservation Center, Colorado
Summit County, which features some of the most renowned outdoor recreation hotspots in the country, has finite water resources exacerbated by climate change, population growth, and an influx of seasonal tourists. Recognizing that water efficiency is their cheapest and most feasible source of new supply, in 2018, Summit County, with the support of five jurisdictions including the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon and Frisco, the Copper Mountain Metropolitan District and local nonprofit partner – High Country Conservation Center (HC3), published a regional Water Efficiency Plan. Now the partners are interested in putting this plan into action with the development and implementation of a regional outdoor water efficiency program.
WaterNow and WRA will work with HC3 and a host of other stakeholders throughout the county to provide additional capacity and expertise to guide the development of a regional outdoor efficiency program. We will, among other tasks, research and compile existing resources on best practices for outdoor efficiency programs, identify and conduct informational interviews with counties and cities that have adopted exemplary efficiency programs and that share similar characteristics (i.e. geography and tourism-based economies), convene stakeholder meetings, and draft outdoor water efficiency program guidelines that incorporate outreach strategies, financing options. Incentivizing or mandating outdoor water efficiency practices result in some of our largest municipal water savings ensuring future water supply resilience for Summit County.
Congratulations to our new Accelerators and thank you to all of our excellent applicant. This selection process was exceptionally challenging since we received 20 high quality and creative applications for support on a wide variety of projects. If we could, we’d select every single one of them. It’s exciting to see so many utilities from across the U.S. developing sustainable and innovative projects to improve their community’s water supply quality and quantity, as well as raising public awareness about these important issues.
The Winter 2020 Application Round for Project Accelerator is right around the corner and we strongly encourage you to consider applying. We are so excited to build a more sustainable, resilient water future with you!
P.S. Stay tuned for additional project accelerator announcements next month!