This article was originally published in the July/August 1994 issue of Home Energy Magazine. Some formatting inconsistencies may be evident in older archive content.
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Home Energy Magazine Online July/August 1994
U.S. Water News is an interesting and, true to the name, newsy monthly paper covering all aspects of the water industry, with conservation as a subset. A recent issue covered organic farmers in Kansas who say they use 20-50% less water than with conventional farming methods, a smart valve being developed at Colorado State University that is equipped with a soil moisture sensor to cut irrigation consumption, and weather news as well as coverage of water supply. They'll send you a complimentary issue, and if you subscribe now (one year for $49, two for $89, with a money-back guarantee), you also get a free five-function weather gauge that measures daily and total rainfall, wind speed and direction, and temperature. Contact: U.S. Water News, Circulation Department, 230 Main Street, Halstead, KS 67056. Tel: (800)251-0046; Fax: (316)835--2223.
Water-Efficient Landscape Guidelines provides a thorough introduction to the subject, covering several approaches to developing and implementing local landscape standards, including examples from three California cities. This book is one of dozens of publications on the topic of water conservation available from the American Water Works Association ($32 for members, $40 for non-members, plus $5 for shipping), 6666 West Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO 80235. Tel: (800)926-7337; Fax: (303)795-1989.
The city of New York has produced a variety of materials in the process of implementing their ambitious water conservation programs (see The Big Flush: Saving Water in the Big Apple, p. 38) including an extensively illustrated, 78-page manual on home water conservation in Spanish. Also available from the Big Apple is a flyer; Reducing Water and Sewer Bills in Apartment Buildings, which will also be out in Spanish soon, and a flyer on choosing a low-consumption toilet. Contact: Paul Mandel, Bureau of Water and Energy Conservation, 7th Floor, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 59-17 Junction Boulevard, Corona, NY 11368-5107; Tel: (718)595-6674.
On the other coast, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has written the book on ultra-low-flush toilets--or has commissioned a bunch of them, anyway. MWD was a partner in Southern California's pioneering toilet rebate programs, and after evaluating the Los Angeles and Santa Monica programs, came up with a series of documents. These resources include: Ultra Low Flush Toilet Rebate Programs in Southern California: Lessons for Water Managers and Planners, a user-friendly seven-page overview of the design and evaluation of the rebate programs; Assumptions and Methodology for Determining Estimates of Reliable Water Savings from the Installation of ULF Toilets; Continuous-Time Error Models of Residential Water Demand, which documents the water demand of models used (not for the technically faint-hearted!); The Conserving Effect of Ultra-Low Flush Toilet Rebate Programs, which summarizes their water savings findings; Mapping the Conserving Effect of Ultra-Low-Flush Toilets: Implications for Planning, which provides a method for estimating water savings for different program designs; and Data Used in the Evaluation of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica Ultra-Low Flush Toilet Rebate Programs, which presents the survey forms and almost 90 pages of the numbers that the evaluations were based on; and a 1992 report prepared for MWD by the Stevens Institute of Technology entitled Alternative Flushing and Retrofit Devices for the Toilet. Fax or mail requests to Mary Ann Dickinson, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, P.O. Box 54153, Los Angeles, CA 90054-0153. Tel: (213)217-6799; Fax: (213)217-7778.
Thinking Globally. Case studies published by the Global Cities Project provide in-depth descriptions of the implementation of 40 different water conservation programs undertaken by communities across the country. These include a look at policy options, step-by-step implementation procedures, program financing, obstacles cities faced, evaluations of program success, program contacts, and short descriptions of similar programs in other communities. Categories covered include commercial and industrial initiatives, landscaping, reclamation and graywater use, residential issues, and system-wide issues and efficiency. Case studies are $10 each, plus shipping and handling. For a publications list, contact the Global Cities Project, 2962 Filmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94123. Tel: (415)775-0791; Fax (415)775-4159.
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, by former Natural Resources Defense Council writer Mark Reisner, offers a close look at the history of the quest for water in the West, and all the political intrigue and sleazy dealings that have gone with it. The story begins with the earliest settlers, proceeds through the making of Los Angeles by the ruthless politicos who created that man-made metropolitan oasis in the desert, and continues up through current times. Available for $14 in bookstores (originally published by Penguin Books in 1987, the 1993 edition is updated).
The Home Water Audit Guide provides the layperson with a simple tour of residential water-using appliances, and is especially useful for its clear, simple instructions on fixing toilet leaks. Individual guides are available at no charge, and the publisher negotiates for bulk orders, which can be printed with a utility's logo. Contact Enviro-Check, 7121 Grand National Drive, Suite 101, Orlando, FL 32819. Tel: (800)845-5036; Fax: (407)352-4007.
Rocky Mountain Institute has produced many water-conservation publications. Call them for a publications list. A good overview of the topic can be found in Water Efficiency; A Resource for Utility Managers, Community Planners and Other Decision Makers. It provides a briefing on the economics of water efficiency, describes the gamut of tools and techniques used in water efficiency programs, and looks at obstacles water conservation planners may run up against. Twelve pages worth of contacts with the programs surveyed in the document and related organizations, and a list of product manufacturers, are included. Another RMI publication of note is Water-Efficient Technologies, A Catalog for the Residential/Light Commercial Sector (available for $25). The 209-page paperback details performance and testing information, as well as manufacturer and distributor contacts for faucets and flow control devices, low-flow showerheads, ultra-low-flush toilets, urinals, clothes washers, and irrigation hoses. The foreword offers some historical information, too, particularly regarding the growth in the market between 1988 (when RMI published their first catalog) and 1991 (the publication date for the most recent edition). For example, the number of entries for water-efficient toilets increased four-fold in that time, while the number of entries in the $100-200 price range jumped from just one, to more than 40. Contact RMI, 1739 Snowmass Creek Road, Snowmass, CO 81654-9199 Tel: (303)927--3851, Fax: (303)927-4178.
Water Conservation News readers stay abreast of the latest in water conservation policy and practices in California, and then some. To get on the mailing list, contact the California Department of Water Resources, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236-0001. Tel: (916)327-1653; Fax: (916)327-1648.
This Resources section was compiled by Abba Anderson of Home Energy. It describes useful texts, tools and ideas for the energy conservation practitioner.
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