Advancing resource recovery to the left: how consumer information drives conservation


Published on

The ultimate in resource management is not to consume the resource in the first place. Unfortunately, the economic value of water and the consumer’s experiential understanding of where, when and how they consume water stands in the way. There is not enough information available to effect the real-time behavioral changes necessary to reduce consumption. Modern technologies and analytics are changing this and for the first time we have the ability to monitor and report water use in real-time, dramatically increasing the visibility of water, and providing the necessary feedback to achieve sustained conservation.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Advancing resource recovery to the left: how consumer information drives conservation

  1. 1. Advancing ResourceRecovery to the Left: How Consumer Information Drives Conservation Trevor Hill President & CEO Global Water Resources 4 October 2011
  2. 2. Altering Behavior “A key to improving efficiency is understanding where, when, and why we use water.”Source: P. Gleick, Roadmap for sustainable water resources in southwestern North America, PNAS, 14 Dec 2010
  3. 3. The Silent Service
  4. 4. Why Should We Care? & POPULATION 14 By 2025, 1.8 billion of the world’s projected 8.9 12 billion people will be living in countries or regions that are experiencing “absolute water 10 scarcity”, and two-thirds of the world population 8 could be under conditions of water stress Population, billions 6 4 Population 2 0Source: UN FAO ( and UN “World at Six Billion”
  5. 5. Where’s the Water?
  6. 6. Triumphs of the Past
  7. 7. Reality of the Present 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
  8. 8. Engineered Solutions must give way to Collaborative Solutions that combineinfrastructure, incentives and information to effect change
  9. 9. Models for the Future“In the 20th century we built this water system and it brings incredibly high quality potable water to our homes,and we use it to drink and to flush our toilets and to water our lawns. Its a crazy use of a wonderful resource.”Peter Gleick, Fresh Air, WHYY, November 27, 2007
  10. 10. Infrastructure – Dual Reticulation
  11. 11. Water Efficiency of Recycled Water Water Source Distribution 0.45 0.4 0.35 0.3 0.16Acre-Feet per DU per Year 0.12 0.25 0.27 Potable Water Use 0.2 0.38 0.11 0.11 Common Area Irrigation Recycled 0.15 Use (HOA/School etc) 0.1 Residential Recycled Water Use (Irrigation) 0.05 0.11 0.10 0.10 0.048 0 Recycled Water No Recycling Recycled Water for Recycled Water for Recycled Water for all perpetually circulating Common Area Irrigation Common Area & Irrigation & Toilet in System Residential Irrigation Flushing
  12. 12. Changing Behavior “Truly sustainable water management and use requires efficiency, smart economics, advanced technology and better governance and water management.”Source: Dr. Peter Gleick, “The Real Cost of Water We Use”, presented at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, 9 Feb 2010
  13. 13. Changing Behavior[…]interventions that combine appeals,information, financial incentives, informalsocial influences, and efforts to reduce thetransaction costs of taking the desiredRATES + INCENTIVES + DATAactions have demonstrated synergisticeffects beyond the additive effects ofsingle policy tools. Source: Dietz, T., Gardner, G., Gilligan, J., Stern, P.C., Vandenbergh, M.P., Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce US carbon emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(44), pp. 18452-18456, 2009
  14. 14. Why Rates are ImportantSource: Brett Walton “The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 U.S. Cities”, April 26, 2010, Circle of BlueSource: Oliver M Brandes et al, “Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing”, POLIS Water Sustainability Project, May 2010
  15. 15. Altering Behavior - Rates Rate design offers the double anti- oxymoron: price increases are consumer protection, because: 1. price increases change behavior; and 2. behavior change yields lower total costs.Source: Scott Hempling, “Low Rates, High Rates, Wrong Rates, Right Rates”, National Regulatory Research Institute, 2009
  16. 16. The Effect of Rates On average, a 10% increase in the marginal cost of water can be expected to reduceresidential demand by 3-4% in the short run. In the long term, such an increase could beexpected to yield a 6% decrease in demand. Source: Sheila M. Olmstead and Robert N. Stavins, “Comparing price and nonprice approaches to urban water conservation”, 25 April 2009, WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH, VOL. 45, W04301, doi:10.1029/2008WR007227, 2009 p. 4
  17. 17. As Rates Increase…People willdemand theinformationnecessary tochange theirbehavior – andsave money Source: Black & Veatch, 2009/2010 50 LARGEST CITIES WATER/WASTEWATER RATE SURVEY
  18. 18. Behavior Modification CONSUMER COST REBATE THRESHOLD RATE DESIGN Volumetric Rate Discretionary Outdoor Stick 35% % of Revenue Egregious User Basic OutdoorCost Excessive 1 Excessive 2 Basic Need Carrot Rebate Threshold Base Rate 65% Base Rate Consumption Tier Needs DATA
  19. 19. Smart Grid for Water Utility CIS CMMS Information DataConsumers SCADA GIS
  20. 20. The Old Way• Manual meter reads once every 1, 6, 12 months• Lost revenue• Lost water• Data Gatekeepers
  21. 21. Deconstructing the Utility Monolith DERIVING KNOWLEDGE FROM DATA Capture every drop of revenue Maximize the efficiency of utility operations Provide the basis for real-time conservation Improve the Consumer Experience
  22. 22. The NEW Way• Automated Metering Infrastructure• Data Gateway• Analytics
  23. 23. Transforming Data Into InformationCollect Organize Decide/Query ActMeter Read AMI Meter ReadCustomer ID Customer StatusLocation Address CIS Meter UsageMeter ID Real Time Report Meter Usage > 0Meter Location GIS Customer Status = FINALLEDMeter Type Meter Location CMMS Work Order = Isolate
  24. 24. Improving the Consumer Experience “Consumers want highly personalized information and they want it at any time on any device – Web, TV, print, smart phone.”Source: Jesse Berst, “The six things utilities still dont get about consumers (but better learn fast!)”, Smart Grid News, Apr 5, 2011
  25. 25. DATA How much water do I use? How do I fare compared to my street, my neighborhood, my city? How much water should I use? Based on weather data and evapotranspiration calculations – how much should I have used outside?
  26. 26. Access to Data = Conservation Real-time Conservation
  27. 27. Impact of the New Paradigm
  28. 28. Results
  29. 29. “The path to sustainability lies in the hands of our customers. We must give them the data to make the right decisions.”