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Water is a Precious Resource
Fresh water supplies are often limited – whether by water rights, stream flows or a system’s capacity to supply and treat water. In the Pacific Northwest, many water utilities typically face challenges in meeting the summer demand, especially in times of drought. As the population continues to grow, demand for water stresses the already limited water supplies. It is in the best interest of water utilities and its customers to engage in and promote water conservation.
Water conservation ensures that the resources continue to be available for future generations of Tumwater citizens and businesses, as well as guaranteeing that there is enough water available for wildlife and the habitats that support them.
Water Conservation Goals
Every ten years the City updates its Water System Plan to help us prepare for the inevitable changes that will impact the drinking water utility. These changes include a rising population, aging infrastructure, stricter regulations and climate change. As part of updating this, plan we’ve proposed new water conservation goals for the City. This will help ensure that the water we pump, treat and distribute to our customers is used as efficiently as possible. We have developed four goals that we think will put on a good path for the next ten years (2018-2028).
Maintain a 3% Annual Reduction in Single-Family Daily Water Use
Over the past 10 years we’ve seen the average single-family water use drop from 242 to 188 gallons per day on average. Our goal is to facilitate further reductions by promoting indoor and outdoor rebate programs and introducing new conservation incentives that target our residential customers.
Maintain current “Peaking Factor”
Peaking factor refers to the relationship of our maximum daily demand to our average daily demand. Currently our maximum daily demand is about twice as high as our average daily demand and we’d like to keep it that way. We’ll prevent our peaking factor from going up by promoting outdoor water conservation across all of our customer types.
Reduce 3-Year Average Distribution System Leakage to 5%
Throughout the year we track how much water we pump from the aquifer and how much we sell to our customers. As you might expect, some of the water that we pump is lost through leaks and does not make it to our customers. The difference between what we pump and what we sell is our “distribution system leakage” or DSL. Our DSL is consistently under the Department of Health standard of 10%, but we think we can do better. By improving our leak detection efforts and our metering capabilities, we will strive to get the DSL for the City to below 5%.
Reduce Water use Among our Commercial Customers
Commercial water use makes up a significant portion of overall water use in Tumwater. There are regional conservation programs that target this type of consumption and our hope is to better leverage these efforts over the next ten years. Through active promotion and outreach we hope to achieve measurable reductions in commercial water consumption.
Rebates & Incentives
Please contact Water Resources at (360) 754-4140 for questions about water conservation or incentive programs or visit us at the Public Works counter at Tumwater City Hall (basement), 555 Israel Road SW, Tumwater, WA (map).