Conserving Water Through Local and Regional Programs – 2011

Each year during the summer, Shoreline Water District adopts both local and regional water conservation goals. During 2011 we purchased over 486 million gallons of water, with an unaccounted water rate of less than 5% throughout our distribution system, thus meeting one of our local water conservation goals. Look for more information in our next newsletter, which will include an estimated adoption of water conservation goals sometime in the Fall.

To meet regional goals, we participate in the Regional Water Conservation Program administered by Seattle Public Utilities, which set a goal of saving 11 million gallons per day (mgd) of cumulative annual average savings from 2000 through 2010, which increased to a savings target of 15 mgd cumulative annual average savings from 2011 through 2030.

As one of a group of 18 utilities that purchases wholesale water from Seattle Public Utilities, Shoreline Water District addressed this target by adopting a 6-year goal of saving 5.98 mgd throughout the combined SWP service area during 2007 through 2012. Programs such as the WashWise High Efficiency Clothes Washer program, Seattle Public Utilities’ high efficiency toilet (HET) rebate program, and the Water Efficient Irrigation Program help us achieve this goal, as reflected in the following program statistics during 2011:

  • 72 residences within our District’s service area took advantage of the WashWise High Efficiency Clothes Washer rebate program
  • 17 single family customers in Shoreline Water District took advantage of the $30 instant rebate program when they replaced their toilets with a new high efficiency model
  • 3 residences and 1 business located within our District’s service area participated in the Water Efficient Irrigation Program.

When combined with the other utilities that participate in this program, the total results from the Regional Conservation Program achieved an estimated 1.4 million gallons per day of annual average savings in 2011. While it is important to note that this included an estimated savings from customer response to the price of water, changes in behavior due to conservation program messages, and consumption-based sewer rates over the combined service area for 2011 and 2012, the total of 4.61 mgd conserved to date has us well-positioned to meet our cumulative 6-year total program goal of 5.98 mgd.

These excellent results are one of the contributing factors to the outstanding achievements in overall water conservation in the Puget Sound. In fact, our region’s water consumption is as low as it was in the late 1950s, even though our population has grown by almost ninety percent.   As of 2011, regional water consumption was 117.9 mgd, which is an increase of only 1.6% from the 116 mgd consumption in 1957, despite the significant population increase.

Handy Water Conservation Tips

How to save up to $200 per year on water bills

  1. Toilets are the #1 cause of undetected water leaks in the home (and resulting high water bills). Replace worn toilet flappers (if you haven’t yet used your Toilet Test Dye Strip that came in the mail from Seattle Public Utilities, now’s the time!)
  2. Faucets are the second most common cause of water leaks. Replace rubber washers and gaskets in your faucets, hoses and showerheads.
  3. Take showers instead of baths: a five minute shower uses 4-5 gallons of water compared to up to 50 gallons for a bath.
  4. Check irrigation systems for freeze damage, broken parts, and slow leaks (this tip can save schools and other municipal facilities thousands of dollars every year!) Unusually damp or green patches of grass are usually the first sign of a leak.
  5. Become a savvy gardener with FREE classes sponsored by the Saving Water Partnership and Cascade Water Alliance. Topics include severything from setting up food gardens, improving your soil, and creating successful plant combinations, to installing water-wise automatic drip irrigation. Learn more here: www.savingwater.org/savvygardenerclasses.htm

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