In 2011 the Pacific Institute, in collaboration with Google, launched a smartphone application that could help address a major water challenge: finding, supporting, and expanding the United States’s public drinking water fountains. “The average American now drinks nearly 30 gallons of commercial bottled water per year. One of the reasons for this explosive growth in the sales of bottled water is the disappearance of public drinking water fountains,” stated Peter Gleick.
Powerful software, plus demographic data, are some of the many resources utilities are discovering as they adapt to the new paradigm of demand forecasting.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water has published a guide to watershed management as a tool in developing and implementing watershed plans. The draft “Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters” is intended for communities, watershed groups, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District, the agency responsible for managing water resources in a 16-county area in west-central Florida, provides a free program to hotels and motels to help conserve water. The district launched the Water Conservation Hotel and Motel Program (Water CHAMP) in 2002 to help decrease the impact vacationers place on Florida’s most precious resource—water.
During the next quarter century, water utilities in North America will face a number of developments that will put pressure on their resources, spur them to develop alternative supplies, and necessitate new approaches to how they conduct business. This article in the August edition of the AWWA “Journal”, the second in a series, highlights two of these trends—population growth and climate change.
Included in the November 2005 edition of the AWWA “Journal”, “Envisioning the future water utility” presents the findings of a Malcolm Pirnie Inc. 2004 national survey of 71 water utility industry experts, regarding their views on the future issues facing U.S. utilities. (While the survey was conducted in the U.S., many of the findings reflect the current and potential future states of the water industry in Canada.)