As a WA State public water provider, LLSWD is required to define goals that reduce water waste/loss on our distribution system, as well as on the customer/demand side. During our comprehensive planning efforts, which occur every 6 years, we are required to update our Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plan. This involves actionable changes to the way we operate the water distribution system on a daily basis, data collection improvements, targeted outreach, free water reducing fixtures/attachments, and programs to encourage modifications to end user’s water using practices.
During our Board of Commissioner’s meeting, 9/20/21, the LLSWD Board will be discussing the proposed changes to our WUE for the next 6 years. If you have any input/questions about this topic, we encourage you to join in on the Public Forum virtually (follow the link below for info), or you can email Jeremy Jenkins, Environmental Manager -and- WUE Program Lead for LLSWD: email@example.com.
Keep annual water production growth rate at or below 1.6% (16 million gallons) of the previous year’s level, over the next 6 years.
Keep annual water production growth rate at or below 1.8% (xx million gallons) of the previous year’s level, over the next 6 years.
– this adjustment up from our last goal is due to the rapid and unexpected rate of growth experienced in our service area.
The proposed changes to our Water Use Efficiency goal and measures are intended to address the largest usage of water in the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District’s service area – outdoor landscape irrigation. This use category holds the largest potential for reduction of water use by making small to medium effort changes to existing irrigation/sprinkler systems. By focusing on retrofitting heads to newer technologies, such as MP Rotator style pop-up heads, a 50-70% reduction of water use can be achieved, while still delivering the intended volume of water to the landscape. A second retrofit that can reduce water usage is installing an internet connected “smart controller”. These newer irrigation controllers are largely app-based, pull in weather/climate information, and are very user-friendly. Some even notify if there are leaks in the system. The granular controls, weather delay/interrupt, and notifications to a smartphone will increase the customer’s situational awareness of their irrigation system.
The other area that should be considered is water waste along roads/trails and swales. Many stormwater swales in Liberty Lake are over-watered. Engagement with those customers could reduce their usage, as well as reduce overspray/wind drift. These changes would be easy to account for via meter data, as well as manufacturer data (if retrofits were made). The City of Liberty Lake is going to be working on a Stormwater Master Plan in 2021/2022. LLSWD will be involved, and this topic of water use efficiency will be brought up and hopefully incorporated into the final Plan.
Finally, the most important aspect of these measures to show LLSWD is making progress towards the adopted goal will be tracking/accounting of gained efficiencies. Use of education is not easily quantified, but physical retrofits can be. Finding a way to engage with customers and encourage them to make changes – while tracking such actions all the way to implementation will be paramount. How exactly that will be accomplished is a topic for discussion.