Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is committed to water conservation and has established a program that is generating an annual savings that can be measured in billions of gallons. Water conservation will continue to play a vital role in the district's long-term water supply strategy. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the water conservation efforts, TWRD utilized a demand model of water use for verification of annual water savings for the Strategic Water Conservation Plan. The model was calibrated using water demands among the district’s primary customers from 1997 to 2004, before water conservation measures were put in place. The model is used to predict TRWD annual demands without conservation and allows for a comparison with actual demands. The difference between the model’s projected demands and actual consumption is assumed to be savings. Here are some highlights of the savings achieved from ongoing conservation efforts from 2007 through 2013:
- A cumulative savings of 104.7 billion gallons or 321,400 acre-feet.
- Annual savings ranging from 8.0 to 32.4 billion gallons, with savings on an annual basis averaging 15.0 billion gallons.
- An average savings of approximately 41.0 mgd. At the 2013 rolling average consumption rate (175.9 gpcd without reuse), 33.0 mgd could supply an additional 233,000 people annually.
- An average savings of almost 46,000 acre-feet per year.
The estimated savings among the district’s primary customers in 2013 alone was nearly 100,000 acre-feet – which represents the average amount of water the District supplies from its Western Division reservoirs each year. The following chart illustrates the projected water demands versus actual demands.
Implementing all of the water conservation strategies outlined in the TRWD Strategic Water Conservation Plan over five years would nearly double the water savings achieved so far. The combined savings would amount to more than 63 mgd when compared to 2006 water use. By 2017, implementing the recommendations described above would produce the following water savings, benefits, and costs:
- Annual water savings of 30.1 mgd, which is 56 percent greater than the conservation savings projected in the 2011 Region C Water Plan.
- Annual per capita water savings of 15.6 gpcd, putting TRWD on course to surpass its 2018 total water use goal of 166 gpcd.
- Cumulative present value benefits of about $30.9 million.
- Cumulative present value costs to utilities of about $14.4 million.
Full implementation of all measures in the Plan would increase TRWD’s water conservation budget from its current level of $1.89 million to $5.0 million annually by 2017. The projected annual water savings would be 33,700 acre-feet, enough to serve the needs of an additional 180,000 people using existing supplies. The potential water savings through 2060 would be more than 2.84 million acre-feet.
Saving water comes with economic benefits, as well. The potential economic benefit from all the evaluated water conservation measures has a present value of $8.0 to 10.0 million, and today’s funding of water conservation measures will provide a substantial long-term return on the investment. The net present value of the potential long-term benefits from all evaluated measures through 2060 is projected to be $987.6 million. The other advantages of supporting a successful water conservation program include:
- Extending the life of existing supplies and delaying the need for new water supplies.
- Reducing peak supply requirements and extending the life of existing infrastructure. Since water system infrastructure is sized to meet peak demands, reducing the peaks also delays the need to expand facilities.
- Positioning TRWD to obtain future water rights. To secure authorization of an interbasin transfer, the applicant must have “developed and implemented a water conservation plan that results in the highest practicable levels of water conservation…”
- Positive environmental effects, improved customer good will, continued growth and economic development, and a reduction in TRWD’s carbon footprint.
Check out Tarrant Regional Water District to learn more information about the water conservation efforts underway.