Water Use Efficiency

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) encourages water and wastewater utilities to support and adopt codes, policies, procedures, and programs that sustain the efficient use of their water resources, through a comprehensive approach integrating demand management with supply‐side management practices.

AWWA supports the use and integration of a variety of water conservation principles and practices. Utilities should use comprehensive integrated resource planning to fully utilize conserved water in water supply planning, and participate in regional coordination and integration approaches for this use.

Utilities should accurately meter, monitor and track consumption data and bill customers based on accurately metered usage in a timely manner, using full‐cost pricing and conservation rate structures.

Utilities should define and implement cost effective/ beneficial best water conservation practices for customer end uses, including the conversion of high water‐use plumbing fixtures, appliances and equipment to more efficient designs; the promotion of efficient irrigation; and the use of appropriate landscape materials. Utilities should also implement cost effective services which may include the provision of water‐use audits and technical assistance and the provision of education and public information on local water resource issues and water conservation.

Utilities should also support the development of appropriate new water efficiency certification programs and standards for plumbing fixtures and appliances. Utilities should encourage appropriate onsite water reuse, including rainwater and stormwater harvesting and the use of air conditioner condensate and gray water, consistent with the protection of public health. Utilities should also support continued research into efficient water use practices.

Finally, water and wastewater utilities can provide leadership for water conservation by adopting policies and regulations that mandate efficient water use practices in all public facilities.

Adopted by the Board of Directors Jan. 27, 1991, revised Jan. 31, 1993, and June 15, 1997, and reaffirmed Jan. 20, 2002.
This policy statement was approved by the Administrative & Policy Council on Sept. 28, 2007, and the Executive Committee on Nov. 3, 2007. Reaffirmed Jan. 2011. Revised June8, 2014.