waterwiseThe official publication of Colorado WaterWise                                                 The Voice of the C...
the editors                                                                                       WaterWise is the officia...
Colorado WaterWise is in the process of building a database of case studies and model ordinances inregards to the Water Co...
CWCB Statewide Drought Conference      Building a Drought Resilient Economy               through Innovation            Se...
Children’s Water Festivals: Where Education              and Fun CollideBy Natalie Stevens, City of GreeleyWhere is a plac...
Westminster Water Use Study provides     data for accurate projectionsBy Stu Feinglas, City of WestminsterIn 2010, the Cit...
interview                 an interview with              Reagan              WaskomBy Ruth Quade, City of GreeleyReagan Wa...
Interview with Reagan Waskom   “Working with students here at CSU and seeing them progress in their careers has   been ver...
Governor HickenlooperProclaims July Smart  Irrigation MonthBy Ruth Quade, City of GreeleyColorado is the first state to pr...
EPA WaterSense Update: Moreproducts, more options, more savings.By Frank Kinder, Colorado Springs UtilitiesMost of us are ...
Plant Spotlight              Black Lace Elderberry		              (Sambucas nigra ‘Gerda’) By Ruth Quade, City of Greeley ...
Book Review         The Big Thirst:The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of WaterBy Leslie Martien, AquacraftWhether you pr...
Conservation Programs at Northern Water:   What We’ve Done and What’s to ComeBy Dana Strongin, Northern Water WaterNorther...
This list is a tall order and if implemented, would likely result in more initiatives than Northern Water’s resources canp...
update Conservation News UpdatesBy Laurie D’Audney, Fort Collins Utilities           Alliance for                      • A...
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Summer 2012 Colorado Waterwise Newsletter


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Summer 2012 Colorado Waterwise Newsletter

  1. 1. waterwiseThe official publication of Colorado WaterWise The Voice of the Colorado Summer 2012 Water Conservation Community www.coloradowaterwise.org in this issue... Pg 3. Call for case studies Pg 7. An Interview with Reagan WaskomPeak Water Pg 12. The Big Thirst -Book Review Season Pg 13. Northern Water’s Survey and Next Steps
  2. 2. the editors WaterWise is the official publication of From Colorado WaterWise and is published four times a year (Mar, Jun, Sep, and Dec). Articles are due the month before the newsletter comes out.Colorado experienced a dry spring reminiscent of 2002. Not knowingwhat the future will hold, reminds everyone the importance of using water Officers:efficiently. Co-chairs: Esther Vincent-Northern Water & Lyle Whitney-AuroraPlease save the date for the Colorado WaterWise Annual Event which Co-secretaries: Drew Beckwith-Westernwill now be called Annual Conservation Summit on October 19th, 2012. Resource Advocates & Ruth Quade-The intent is to get more of the policy makers in the room rather than just Greeleypreaching to the choir. Co-treasurers: Frank Kinder-Colorado Springs & Sarah Fluery-Eagle RiverColorado WaterWise is working on some new projects that will be a great help Board Members:to those implementing a conservation plan or who will be required to report The officers above and Stu Feinglas-their conservation saving to the state in compliance with HB 1051. The first Westminster, Kim Frick-Tri-Districts;is in the “members only” section of the website. Case studies based on the Dan Stellar-Center for ReSourceBest Practices Guidebook will be posted for members to use when developing Conservation; Alyssa Quinn-Plattenew programs or projects. The other project is a Water Conservation Savings Canyon; Dave Merritt-HDRcalculator. Some tools are out there already, but really don’t fit Colorado Engineering; Russ Sands-City of Boulder;utilities. The goal will be for utilities to load their data into the calculator and Lucas Mouttet-Fort Collins, Laura Wing-be able to calculate what the best return on investment for customers. Thornton; Cindy Moe-Denver WaterBecause these projects will cost money, Colorado WaterWise needs a more Newsletter Editors: Kim Frick, Lesliesustainable business model. Therefore, along with a new membership Martien, Ruth Quade, Laurie D’Audneystructure, this will be that last free issue of the newsletter. A newsletter only Design: Rob Shermanmembership will now cost $30 per year. All other membership levels willalso be adjusted to help pay for some of the projects that are proposed in Advertising Sales: Natalie Brower-Kirton,2012. 720-427-6029, nbrower@auroragov.org Kim FrickReach the editors at: To submit a story topic, email Kim FrickKim Frick: Kfrick@scwtp.org Ruth Quade at Kfrick@scwtp.orgRuth Quade: Ruth.Quade@greeleygov.comLeslie Martien: Leslie@aquacraft.com L Martien eslie WaterWise articles may be reproduced inLaurie D’Audney: Ldaudney@fcgov.com other publications with credit given to the Laurie D’Audney author and ColordoWaterWise. Any advertisement of or reference to a product or service is not intended as an endorsement. This newsletter is intended to spark CO WaterWise Board Meetings dialogue about various issues concerning water conservation in Colorado. The Second Thursdays, 10 a.m.-noon viewpoints of the authors are not necessarily those of the Colorado RMSAWWA Water Conservation Committee Meetings WaterWise. Third Mondays, 10-11 a.m. Colorado WaterWise Major Sponsors
  3. 3. Colorado WaterWise is in the process of building a database of case studies and model ordinances inregards to the Water Conservation Best Practices that were developed. Share your success stories withfellow Colorado WaterWise members and learn how Best Practices are creating results! Go to www.coloradowaterwise.org to learn more. Please submit:1. Study or Ordinance Title2. A couple of sentences describing the study or ordinance3. PDF of study summary and associated files (lower resolution desired) with files named as you want tosee them on the website4. Contact informationSubmissions should be made to: laura.wing@cityofthornton.net. Your submissions will be posted in theMember-only section of our website, in the Best Practice Guide section. You will need to log in to see theMember-only section. Case studies and ordinances will be showcased under the relevant Best Practice:BP1: Metering, Rates, Tap Fees, Billing System BP9: Landscape Design, Installation, Maint.BP2. Integrated Resources Planning BP10: Irrigation Efficiency EvaluationsBP3: System Water Loss Control BP11: Rules for New ConstructionBP4: Conservation Coordinator BP12: Fixture Replacement - Residential and Non-Res.BP5: Water Waste Ordinance BP13: Water Surveys - ResidentialBP6: Public Information and Education BP14: Water Surveys - Non-ResidentialBP7: Landscape Water BudgetsBP8: Rules for Landscape Design We look forward to seeing your work! Thank you, Colorado WaterWise Board of DirectorsWaterWise 3 Spring 20112012 Summer
  4. 4. CWCB Statewide Drought Conference Building a Drought Resilient Economy through Innovation September 19-20, 2012 Photo by Bill Green   Topics to be covered during this two day conference: Colorado History    Drought & Colorados economy   Share information and experiences on:  Museum  Insuring a drought resiliency in Colorado among all sectors   Advances in drought monitoring, mitigation and impact assessment  Denver, Colorado   Innovations drought preparedness    Responses to and impacts from the 2011 drought    Managing drought related risk   Who should attend? Opportunities for interagency/ intergovernmental collaboration and      public/ private partnerships on drought response and mitigation efforts  Governmental,  private sector and   non-profit Urban Environments  Highlight Drought Preparedness Innovations in:  professionals & Tourism & Recreation   practitioners will find Agriculture   Energy Sector this conference highly  applicable and  informative.     What the latest science says about drought and climate change   Climate Change    Advances in climate change adaptation  and demands on water resources      Questions?    taryn.hutchins‐cabibi@state.co.us  303.866.3441 X3231    For more information, please go to http://cwcb.state.co.us Colorado Water Conservation Board  1313 Sherman Street, Room 721  Denver, Colorado 80203   WaterWise 4 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  5. 5. Children’s Water Festivals: Where Education and Fun CollideBy Natalie Stevens, City of GreeleyWhere is a place where you can pan for gold, paddle a canoe, get soaked in arainstorm, and shoot off water rockets? If you don’t know, here is another hint: it isalso a place where you can meet a water wizard, a mad scientist, and a firefighter.You could have done all this and more at the Water Festival sponsored by the Cityof Greeley, The Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, and the West GreeleyConservation District.Most of the Children’s Water Festivals in the state take place in May of each year.Many cities and water districts organize, sponsor, and present at Children’s WaterFestivals. There are at least 10 water festivals in Colorado in all parts of the state fromthe West Slope, South East, Metro Denver, and the North Front Range.Organizing or presenting at a Water Festival is a great way to educate the youth on issue of water and conservation.A water festival invites upper elementary (3-5) grade classes from area schools to participate. A Water Festival alsobrings water professionals from around Colorado whoprovide presentations and activities about water, conservation,human health, and aquatic life, while covering a wide range of curriculum areas including language arts, math,science, social studies, visual art, and health. A goal of a Water Festival is to teach students about water andempower them to take steps to conserve and protect water resources. “If you plan for one year, plant rice. If you planfor 10 years, plant a tree. If you plan for 100 years, educate a child.” -Chinese ProverbWhile the Water Festival season is over for the year, it is not too early to start thinking about next year. WaterWise 5 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  6. 6. Westminster Water Use Study provides data for accurate projectionsBy Stu Feinglas, City of WestminsterIn 2010, the City of Westminster received a Conservation Since 2000, an average of 67.7% of the ET waterPlanning Grant from the Colorado Water Conservation requirement for turf grass was applied by singleBoard to develop a state approved conservation plan. family homes in Westminster. Quantifying theThe City found a considerable amount of water use data savings from efficient irrigation versus the impactavailable for the City’s residential sector, while little data from the economic recession remains to be seen.was found on the customer side of the meter. This made Westminster must be careful when projecting thesecalculating reliable savings projections problematic. The findings in the future, so as not to overestimateCity decided to fund a separate study of single family potential savings.residential water use, including a customer survey sent to1,000 customers, data logging, flow trace analysis, and GIS About 50% of customers were determined to haveproperty mapping. The City partnered with Aquacraft to all toilets used in the home flush at 1.6 gallonsperform the study. or less. The remainder had a mix of efficient and higher volume toilets or only higher volume toiletsThe initial customer survey achieved a 36% response rate, installed. About 27% of toilets used in Westminsterwhich was aided by a $5.00 credit issued for participants. were calculated to be high volume. Shower flowPopulation density of 2.57 people per home tracked close rates were about 2.0 gallons per minute on average,to the average for Colorado. Over 90% of customers well below 2.5 gallons per minute maximum inirrigate regularly and 75% of those used an automatic fixture regulations. About 35% of customers had anirrigation system. Over half of customers adjusted their average clothes washer load volume of 25 gallonsirrigation at least monthly, while rain sensors or weather- per washing machine load or less.based irrigation controllers were not found in significantquantities. However, the lack of efficient controller Westminster is finalizing its water conservation plantechnology does not mean that irrigation was not efficient. along with its comprehensive water supply plan at this time. The ability to use data on customer useFlow trace analysis and historic use data provided many along with actual fixture data will allow Westminsteruseful findings, some of which are presented here. On to project realistic water demands and savingsaverage homes applied 85% of ET beginning in 2000, but potential enhancing both the conservation plan andby 2010 this average percent of ET applied was reduced to the City’s plan for future buildout.less than 60%. WaterWise 6 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  7. 7. interview an interview with Reagan WaskomBy Ruth Quade, City of GreeleyReagan Waskom currently serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Institute and as Director of the Colorado StateUniversity Water Center. Dr. Waskom is a member of the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences faculty with a jointappointment to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU.WW: Tell us a little about yourself.I’m basically a very lucky guy. I live in a great place, get to work at a first class University with wonderful people,and I work on an endlessly fascinating subject – water! When I’m not working for CSU I like to mess around in themountains.WW: How did you get started in the water business?My background is in agriculture and all of my degrees are Ag related. It’s hard to work in agriculture without gettingfixated on water. My first job out of college was as an Ag consultant on the High Plains and it was the irrigationaspects that I found most interesting. After my MS degree I had the opportunity to work for 5 years on a USAgency for International Development project focused on salinity and drought and got hooked. I got my PhD at CSUand I’ve been at CSU for 26 years now working in different outreach and research roles all related to water. I’vebeen the director of the Colorado Water Institute since Robert Ward retired in December 2005. That reminds me ofsomething else I should mention: I’ve been very fortunate to have had a series of wonderful mentors in water likeRobert Ward, Dan Smith, Evan Vlachos, Lloyd Walker and others. I highly recommend young water professionalsfind and cultivate mentors they can look up to and learn from.WW: Regarding water resources and conservation, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facingColorado?I’ll separate these two issues because I see them as somewhat distinct. Regarding water resources, the challenge isliving within the limits imposed by our climate, while our economy and population grows. If we do not figure outhow to live within these limits, the losers will be the environment and agriculture, which I think are the two greatestassets we have in Colorado. Sure, this is partially about conservation, but it is also about growth and what we valuein this state. Water quality is a big part of this equation – as humans divert and discharge we degrade the aquaticresources in Colorado. Nutrients, sediment, mercury, selenium and temperature concern me the most for Colorado,but we’ll have to deal with emerging contaminants sooner or later.Regarding conservation, as a state we still have lots we can do. Per capita water use values revealed by the SWSI2010 study are all over the map – from several hundred gpcd to less than 100 gpcd. Statewide values are 172 gpcd,which I think shows many Colorado communities can still tighten up their water use. WaterWise 7 Spring 2011 2012 Summer 2011 Summer
  8. 8. Interview with Reagan Waskom “Working with students here at CSU and seeing them progress in their careers has been very rewarding. Seeing positive change occur in Colorado water management and policy – both on the quality and quantity sides is very satisfying when it happens.“Changing behavior takes time, money and in some cases a generational change. Smoking is an interesting example ofhow hard the human dimension is to change: despite decades of education, tax disincentives and regulations to reducesmoking, more than 1,000 people per day in the US still die from cigarettes. Water conservation professionals have torealize that their work is critically important and change in human behavior is often slow and incremental. How weimplement new land use development and redevelopment will also be a huge driver in future water needs.While many in the water community do not agree with me, I believe that there is much we can do in the realm ofagricultural water conservation if the incentivizing mechanisms are put in place. The technology is there, but there islittle reason for farmers to make these investments. We talk about aging infrastructure all the time in the utility sector,but actually the problem is much more acute on our irrigation ditches and delivery systems. The beauty of our currentgravity-fed ditch, reservoir and surface irrigation systems is that they have a very low carbon footprint. There will be atradeoff as we modernize.WW: What regulatory measures do you think will have the biggest impact on water in Colorado?In the short term, what I see looming largest in Colorado is the nutrient regulations and the persistent efforts to changeour state constitution in favor of the public trust doctrine. It is not clear if the two ballot initiatives for the public trustdoctrine will get the needed signatures to show up on this fall’s ballot, but eventually this is likely to get to a vote of thepeople.WW: What technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on water conservation in Colorado?I’m excited about the potential for smart meters to give us real-time feedback on our water use and for families to dialogabout and understand their water use patterns. If the implementation of smart meters can be linked to effective publiceducation programs and rate structures, I believe we will really see the dial move on water conservation.It looks like drought is looming this summer and if the 2012-2013 winter is a dry one, we will be back in the soup nextyear. I think it is important to distinguish between drought response and conservation programs but I also think we canuse drought to educate and change behavior. It may be that the technologies water conservation professionals shouldinvest more time in are the communications and social networking developments to meet people, especially youngpeople, where they hang out and learn.WW: What has given you the most satisfaction during your career?Working with students here at CSU and seeing them progress in their careers has been very rewarding. Seeing positivechange occur in Colorado water management and policy – both on the quality and quantity sides is very satisfying whenit happens. I really like the people who work in water here in Colorado – I see many unsung heroes in our midst, workingvery hard to manage and protect this resource. They are all above average! It is a great bunch of folks and I am lucky toassociate with them.WW: Beyond work, what other interests do you have? Passions, goals, missions?You mean we are supposed to do something besides work? Could you talk to my boss about that? When I’m not workingI love to swim, ski, fish, camp, hike – you know, stuff with water… I read a lot also.WW: Any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?Yes, thanks for your work and passion for water conservation. The conservation community is critically important and Iadmire your work. If folks see things we can or should be doing in higher education I would love to hear from you. WaterWise 8 Spring 2011 2012 Summer 2011 Summer
  9. 9. Governor HickenlooperProclaims July Smart Irrigation MonthBy Ruth Quade, City of GreeleyColorado is the first state to proclaim July Smart Irrigation Month thanks toan effort lead by CPS Distributers, Inc., an irrigation distributer with 11 branchesin Colorado and Wyoming.The Irrigation Association first launched Smart Irrigation Month in 2005 and it is gaining traction as stakeholdersrecognize the impact of efficient irrigation in July and year round. July is typically a peak month for water consumptionand warrants attention. Water treatment plants must be designed to handle peak production. By shaving peaks,expensive treatment plant upgrades can be delayed or avoided.The Smart Irrigation campaign is designed to:• Educate homeowners, businesses, growers and other users about simple ways to save money and water.• Encourage industry firms and professionals to promote smart irrigation practices and technologies to customers.• Help water providers minimize peak water use and reduce demands on infrastructure in their communities.• Reinforce the role efficient irrigation plays in providing real solutions to today’s water challenges. The initiative is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the value of water efficiency, water saving products, practices and services. All industry professionals and companies are invited to participate. This is also an opportunity for companies in the irrigation industry to differentiate themselves and add value for customers by promoting water-saving products, practices and services. Participants in Smart Irrigation Month campaigns have proudly reported increased sales and new customers. Following the campaign, participants are invited to submit their marketing materials by August 31, 2012, and participate in the Smart Marketing contest. The contest is free to IA members and for the first time to non-members for a nominal fee. Marketing materials including a sample proclamation for municipal water supplies are located at http://www.smartirrigationmonth.org. WaterWise 9 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  10. 10. EPA WaterSense Update: Moreproducts, more options, more savings.By Frank Kinder, Colorado Springs UtilitiesMost of us are familiar with WaterSense, a partnership programby the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to protectthe future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simpleway to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes,and services.WaterSense brings together a variety of stakeholders to:• Promote the value of water efficiency.• Provide consumers with easy ways to save water, as both a label for products and an information resource to help people use water more efficiently.• Encourage innovation in manufacturing, services, and industry capability.• Decrease water use and reduce strain on water resources and infrastructure.The program seeks to help consumers and businesses make smart water choices that save money and maintain highenvironmental standards without compromising performance. Products and services that have earned the WaterSenselabel have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. If one in every 10homes in the United States were to install WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it couldsave 6 billion gallons of water per year, and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat thatwater. In Colorado and other water-scare states, these savings represent important components to Water ConservationPlans, existing rebates, and efficiency messaging vital to our savings goals. Utilities, suppliers, retailers, and services arejoining to together to promote conservation that works for everyone.WaterSense labeled products have been a popular way to retrofit existing facilities and impart water efficiency to newconstruction. With the recent showerhead labeling and expanded new homes options, WaterSense is only becoming moreimportant to conservation strategies. Cultural perceptions around the performance of water-conserving products remainsan obstacle, as many industry professionals remain hesitant to use them, but product engineering and manufacturersupport has only strengthened the value of these products, and they are committed to their success, and the results areoverwhelmingly positive. Map-Testing.com provides insight to the breadth of options and improvement for WaterSenseproducts. Colorado WaterWise is a proud WaterSense partner, and its members welcome the collaboration it bringsto making water efficiency marketable and possible for the commercial and consumer markets. Colorado continuesembracing WaterSense as a sound method to save, and look forward to the evolution and expansion of water efficientproducts, systems, and solutions from WaterSense. To learn more: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/index.html. WaterWise 10 Spring 20112012 Summer
  11. 11. Plant Spotlight Black Lace Elderberry (Sambucas nigra ‘Gerda’) By Ruth Quade, City of Greeley Black Lace Elderberry is a large deciduous shrub that can also be pruned and shaped into a small tree. It grows to a height and spread of 8-10 feet. It is very cold hardy (zones 3-8) and easily adapts to most sites. It likes moist and well-drained soil but will tolerate dry soils after establishment. It can also adapt to either acidic or alkaline soils. Foliage is pinnate, usually five leaflets with serrated edges making it an excellent hardy substitute for a Japanese maple. Foliage starts out pale green with a hint of purple before turning dark purple. Black Lace Elderberry will take part shade, but full sun is needed for best color. The Black Beauty can be used as an accent plant or planted en masse as a hedge. Butterflies love the clusters of pink flowers that softly fade to white as they age and are striking against the finely cut, dark foliage. The June flowers have a lemony scent and are followed by dark purple fruit that is edible and used for jams, pies or wine if the birds don’t get to them first. In zones 5 or above prune in late summer or fall after blooming and fruiting. Its growth rate is moderate to fast. If the plant is leggy as a young plant, it can be pruned, pinched and shaped to form a fuller shrub for the first growing season. You will sacrifice the blooms in the first year, but it will result in a well branched, full bodied plant that will have more flowers in subsequent years. Fertilize in early spring by applying a slow release fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs. WaterWise 11 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  12. 12. Book Review The Big Thirst:The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of WaterBy Leslie Martien, AquacraftWhether you prefer facts and figures or a good story, Charles Fishman’s bookThe Big Thirst, will appeal to a diverse readership. As an investigative reporterFishman researches the broad topic of our relationship to water and weavesstatistics into stories that most readers will find quite compelling. This well-researched and thought provoking book presents facts and ideas that even themost highly seasoned water expert is likely to find surprising.Fishman uses these stories to help his reader understand the unique relationshipthat humans have to water. Although water is an essential and life-givingcommodity, its perceived value is affected by the culture of the people who useit. In the United States, where safe, clean, inexpensive water has been readilyavailable since the beginning of the 20th century, many people have neverexperienced a failure in their water supply. We expect our water to be readilyavailable and cheap, yet we willingly spend nearly as much on bottled water eachyear as we spend to maintain our entire water supply system during that sametime period!Water is nearly as “invisible” as the air we breathe. Unfortunately this creates a complacency that has led to failinginfrastructure and severe water shortages in unexpected places like Atlanta, Georgia that added several millionpeople in the past twenty years without increasing its water supply.One the other side of the globe the line from Coleridge’s poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “water, water,everywhere nor any drop to drink”, describes the nearly schizophrenic relationship with water that exists in India.Rivers considered sacred are so fouled that a dropperful of water is enough to make six bathtubs of water unfit forbathing. Scientist who were part of a team that discovered water on the moon have access to water only four anda half hours a day. Much of this is due to a burgeoning population and infrastructure that has fallen into disrepair.Intermittent supply is so common that many Indians have come to accept it as the norm.Fishman’s research leads him to one of the most productive places on earth to grow rice which is, of all places,Australia. And yet for the past 10 years the continent has been gripped by ever deepening drought known as “TheBig Dry” and the water for growing rice has nearly disappeared. Battles wage over who should get the remainingwater and who should make that decision and where new supplies should come from and who should be paid for it.This is not a book about blame – after all the reasons for water shortages are as diverse as the countries in whichthey exist. Nor is it a book of “one size fits all” solutions because the solutions appear to be as diverse as reasons forthe water shortages in the first place. It is however a cautionary note, meant to remind us that if we continue to takewater for granted the outcome may be disastrous. As such, it is a must-read for anyone who has ever puzzled overhumans’ complex and seemingly nonsensical relationship with water. WaterWise 12 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  13. 13. Conservation Programs at Northern Water: What We’ve Done and What’s to ComeBy Dana Strongin, Northern Water WaterNorthern Water is in a unique position when it comesto water conservation. As stewards of the Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap projects, we stand inthe middle between the water we transport and thepeople who use it, without the standard to set policyor offer initiatives. Yet – as we should – we have acontinuing interest in water conservation and a strongdesire to contribute when we can.Northern Water’s conservation program history includes the 1981 creation of the Irrigation Management Service(IMS), staffed with experts on water-efficient agricultural practices. IMS shifted to an urban landscaping focus in themid-1990s, and today the program offers more than 15 studies and visual demonstrations as well as training to helpprofessionals and homeowners learn how to create and maintain water-efficient lawns and gardens.One intriguing study in Northern Water’s award-winning Conservation Gardens is investigating Xeriscape plants’water use by using soil moisture sensors to track water use patterns of plant groups and other data intended to guide the development of irrigation recommendations. Staff designed other studies to provide insights on new irrigation technologies, such as controllers that run sprinklers based on soil moisture or weather data. “One idea we Northern Water is in its 75th year, and employees – particularly members of the multi-departmental Conservation Team – have been have is to help discussing the future of the organization’s conservation programs. ensure a viable With this in mind, Northern Water commissioned Aquacraft in 2010 future for the to conduct a detailed survey of district municipalities to ask what the cities’ existing conservation programs were and what kind of assistance Value of Water they would like from Northern Water. campaign” The top requests from the responding agencies included: 1. Assistance to improve or enhance water conservation measurement methods 2. Assistance with communicating the value of water 3. Improving public education and awareness 4. Assistance with technical information on climate and forecasting 5. Assistance with improving water conservation methods WaterWise 13 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  14. 14. This list is a tall order and if implemented, would likely result in more initiatives than Northern Water’s resources canprovide. Also, some of these projects may be logical pursuits for other organizations.One idea is to help ensure a viable future for the Value of Water campaign. The campaign was derived to carry on after2012, Colorado’s Year of Water. The yearlong celebration (www.water2012.org) has brought an impressive contingentof Colorado professionals together in an effort to educate residents about water.The Value of Water campaign is intended to ride on Water 2012’s momentum with a broad message NorthernWater sees as crucial: Water is truly a valuable resource. With that in mind, Northern Water’s Conservation Team isdiscussing potential options to help Colorado WaterWise carry on the campaign.The Value of Water campaign and continued landscaping studies are just two ideas we at Northern Water have forfuture programming, but we’d like to hear input from our water users. If you have suggestions or ideas for ourconservation programs, contact Esther Vincent at evincent@ncwcd.org. Rocky Mountain Section of American Water Works Association (RMSAWWA): Conservation Committee UpdateBy: Jeannine Shaw: Conservation Committee Chair and Awards: The Rocky MountainConservation Specialist at Denver Water Section of AWWA (whichConservation Certificate Program: Over the past year and a half, the RMSAWWA includes, Colorado, New MexicoConservation Committee has explored options to facilitate and offer a Water and Wyoming) is currentlyConservation Certificate Program in our Section. After an initial review of available seeking nominations for the Aliceprograms, the committee decided to pursue using program materials developed by Darilek Water Conservationthe Pacific Northwest Section of AWWA (PNWSAWWA), with the idea that we Award, which recognizes anwould need to tailor about 20% of the material to address our Section’s regional outstanding contributor to thespecific needs. Over a period of about 10 months, the two Sections did a joint review water conservation field within the Rocky Mountain Sectionof the materials. A draft user-agreement that both committees had agreed upon was of AWWA. The Section is alsoin place at the beginning of the review. However, when it came time to formalize the seeking applications for theUser-Agreement, new issues surrounding the long-term ownership and flexibility of $2,000 Warner Scholarship,updating the program content emerged. which is given annually to encourage young professionals toAs a result, both groups recognized the need to take a step back and re-evaluate seek higher education in athe current needs and priorities of our corresponding AWWA Sections. To this water-related field.end, RMSAWWA Conservation Committee will be working to deliver a surveylater this year to gather information on the most pressing needs for professionals. Applications/Nominations areWith this information, the committee can better direct its efforts at education and due no later than June 15th.training opportunities of most value to those throughout the region. At this time, the Instructions on how to submitRMSAWWA Conservation Committee will no longer be pursuing the materials from are on the RMSAWWA websitethe other Section. While in some ways this may seem unfortunate, it was actually a (www.rmsawwa.net/awards_great exercise for both Sections to go through, as it allowed everyone to gain new committee.htm). Winners areperspective on the work that lay ahead of us. Both groups have come out of this honored at the RMSAWWAwith a lot of respect for one another, as well as respect for what we, as conservation Annual Conference that will takeprofessionals, are striving for. We haven’t given up on getting a conservation place September 9-12, 2012 atcertificate program in our Section, so stay tuned! Copper Mountain. WaterWise 14 Spring 2011 Summer 2012
  15. 15. update Conservation News UpdatesBy Laurie D’Audney, Fort Collins Utilities Alliance for • AWE has had funding cuts Documentary Films Water Efficiency and needs our help. If you value about Water the information, research and (www.a4we.org) • Last Call at the Oasis’s theme is advocacy AWE provides, consider • AWE released a draft report, offering financial support by that the global water crisis will be The Water Efficiency and becoming a member and/or the central issue facing our world Conservation State Scorecard: An making a donation. Their goal is this century. It exposes defects Assessment of Laws and Policies to raise $300,000 by the end of the in our current system, shows based on a survey of state level year. communities struggling with its ill- water efficiency and conservation effects and highlights individuals policies and laws throughout the Plant Select® championing revolutionary 50 states. The survey included laws (www.plantselect.org) solutions. (www.lastcallattheoasis. and policies regarding plumbing com) fixture standards, water loss • Plant Select is having a photo control, conservation planning and contest. Submit images of your • Watershed–Exploring a New program implementation, water favorite Plant Select combinations, Water Ethic for the West, is rates, funding sources, technical xeriscapes or individual plants. narrated by Robert Redford assistance and more. Overall, the Photos must contain at least one and produced by his son James. 50 states averaged a “C” grade. Plant Select plant. Deadline is It focuses on the plight of the Colorado was awarded a “B-”. A August 15. Check the website for Colorado River system. It touches public comment period is open more details. on the history of the Colorado until June 15. Download the report watershed and what may happen at www.allianceforwaterefficiency. U.S. EPA WaterSense in the future if policies are not org/drft-scorecard.aspx. (www.epa.gov/watersense) changed. (http://jamesredford.com/ • The first smart controller has all-films/producing-current-films/ • AWE is selling copies of Amy Vicker’s Handbook of Water Use earned a WaterSense label. To earn & Conservation for $65. This is a the label, controllers must be able Irrigation Association great deal on the bible for water to adequately meet the watering (www.irrigation.org) conservation. needs of a landscape without • It’s not too early to start thinking overwatering. about Smart Irrigation Month • Nominations are being accepted coming up in July, a campaign for Exemplary Water-Energy • EPA has launched a Climate dedicated to increasing public Efficiency Program awards for Change and Water Resources awareness of the value of water programs that save both water website at http://water.epa.gov/ use efficiency, water-saving and energy. Nominations are due scitech/climatechange. products, practices and services. by July 13. Check the website for details. WaterWise 15 Spring 2011 2012 Summer