News

October 2016

Director Loge’s Op-Ed in The Guardian
Is using less water the secret to cutting our greenhouse gas emissions?

Read the article at: The Guardian

June 2016

CWEE study on electricity savings during mandatory water cuts

San Diego Tribune
Los Angeles Times

More information can be found at: California H2Open

May 2016

2016 American Water Works Association Award for Best Paper

Our paper, “Consumption-based fixed rates: Harmonizing Water Conservation and Revenue Stability” is receiving the 2016 Management & Leadership Division Award for Best Paper Award from the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The announcement will be made at the 2016 AWWA conference help in Chicago, Illinois on June 19-22.

Abstract: Water utilities struggle with the need to promote water conservation while maintaining financial solvency – a common challenge referred to as the “new normal.” However, under typical cost and revenue structures, water utilities experience significant revenue shortfalls when water use lags behind projected customer consumption (either by conservation or other factors). Subsequently, water providers are obligated to raise rates more frequently and/or more dramatically than originally anticipated. This problem arises primarily when the fixed and variable portions of utility costs are not aligned with the fixed and variable portions of revenue. This article presents a new water-pricing mechanism – consumption-based fixed rates – that harmonizes costs and revenues yet still promotes conservation through the innovative inclusion of volumetric fixed charges. As such, consumption-based fixed rates represent a potentially useful solution for water utilities to effectively balance conservation and revenue stability in an equitable and sustainable manner.

Download the article at the source: American Water Works Association (AWWA)

April 2016

CWEE places second in CA Water Board Data Innovation Challenge

The State Water Board hosted a Data Innovation Challenge in the Spring of 2016. The focus was on creating apps, visualizations, and other tools that demonstrate the use of data beyond what is currently being done. The CWEE team, led by Computational Data Research Specialist Andrew Holguin, received runner-up in the California Green Gov Challenge for their application CA H2Open.

CA H2Open application creates a visualization of how the 400+ California water utilities responded to the Governor’s mandate of 25% statewide water use in urban water suppliers relative to 2013 levels. In addition to displaying a summary of water use relative to the conservation target for each district, the application also calculates the electricity savings associated with the reduced demand on water infrastructure services using estimates of average energy intensity per hydrologic region. One of the significant findings is that the electricity savings associated with the observed achievements in water conservation is roughly equivalent to the total first-year electricity savings estimated for all of the energy IOU efficiency programs implemented in the period from July through September 2015 (the period where data was available for both initiatives). In addition, the water conservation-related GHG savings over the entire period of the mandate (June 2015 through February 2016), represent the equivalent of taking about 50,000 cars off the road for a year.

The application and additional background information can be found online at CA H2Open.