Source: CVDaily Feed

With much of the Western United States in the clutches of a drought, residents are concerned about the growing scarcity of water. Nonprofit sustainability advocacy group Ceres recently partnered with Park City, Utah officials to hold a conference about saving water utilities. Officials from all over Utah, as well as Colorado and other Western states, were in attendance.

Water utilities are currently attempting to replace storage and to fund projects that divert water to residents who need it, such as the Lake Powell Pipeline. Meanwhile, legislators are drafting a proposal to create a “water infrastructure” fund comprised of $33 billion worth of new projects and improvements to existing systems.

One of the biggest concerns of the water companies is that their revenues are directly tied to consumption. As consumers use less water, the price tends to increase, further decreasing consumption. One possible solution is to base impact fees on a home’s conservation rating, or to bill on a graded scale, so those who are using more water pay more than homes that tend to conserve.

Technology will play a part in tracking residents’ consumption. With a $2 million upgrade for smart technology, users will be able to track their consumption in real time. When implemented in an area near Oakland, California, a similar system decreased water use by 3%. Salt Lake City has created an online dashboard for their Sustainable Salt Lake Plan that provides metrics on categories like transportation and air quality for residents to study. There is also a comment section for consumers to leave feedback.

Homeowners can do their part to conserve water at home. Adding mulch to gardens will preserve moisture as well as promote soil health, while taking shorter showers and reusing towels between washings will cut down on water waste. While it is up to nature to end the drought plaguing the Western United States, everyone can take small steps to conserve water each day.