QUIZ: How much water can you save by installing a faucet aerator? A) 15% B) 40% C) 65%
ANSWER: B) You can save up to 40 percent of the water used at your sink by replacing your old faucet cap with a new faucet aerator. Most aerators cost less than $5, and Federal Plumbing Standards now require them for new homes.
For the last in our series of articles about Colorado’s Water Plan, we want to take a closer look at Section 6.3: Water Conservation and Reuse.
Increasing the state’s water supply is just one element of meeting the growing water demands in Colorado. The other piece of the puzzle? Developing strategies to reduce water consumption. As explained in the Water Plan, “every acre-foot of conserved water used to meet new demands is an acre foot of water that does not need to come from existing sources.”
How much water should we conserve? The Plan has a stated goal to “reduce Colorado’s projected 2050 municipal water demands by 400,000 acre-feet statewide.” That may sound ambitious, but many municipalities are already working steadily toward this goal. Primarily, they are seeking to change people’s behavior through a variety of strategies:
- Regulatory mandates and water planning
- Technology innovations (example: faucet aerators that limit flow)
- Incentives (example: price incentives for limiting your water use)
- Water reuse (examples: using non-potable water for landscaping, or establishing more water treatment centers)
Beyond reducing immediate demand, water conservation also acts as a management tool to buffer against drought. Any water that is conserved can be saved for use during periods of water shortage.
According to the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), in the past decade, water providers and their customers have reduced per-capita water needs. Statewide, conservation efforts amount to just under 20 percent, but some municipalities have reduced their per-capita water use by as much as 30 percent. Since the approval of Colorado’s Water Plan in November 2015, the CWCB has granted $444,825 in water efficiency planning and implementation projects for conservation planning, plan implementation, and public outreach.
To learn more about water conservation plans or other water issues, contact us.