Water Conservation Toolbox
Homes and Water tower

Water suppliers have distinct and specific needs and concerns. For example, suppliers have concerns about setting up rate structures that balance needed revenue against declining water consumption. Learn from experts how to best align rates with revenue, or how to develop a water conservation program for your community. Select a topic below to see an expanded list of subtopics that focus on your specific interest or question.

General Knowledge

How can water conservation offset future infrastructure investment?

 Defining a Resilient Business Model for Water Utilities

Guidance document on setting up utility rate structures that can accommodate reduced revenue related to reduced demand for water.

 Water Utility Revenue Risk Assessment Tool

Simplified Excel tool for water utilities.  Assesses the revenue that would be at risk if residential customers reduce water demand.

How much water is consumed by energy production (or usage)?


 Water Consumption of Energy Resource Extraction, Processing, and Conversion

Literature review of water usage in the energy industry

 Thermoelectric Power Water Use 

Reports on water consumed in each state for electricity generation

Water Conservation for Infrastructure

What water conservation practices can I implement at the water/wastewater facility?


 Water & Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities

Steps to set up water and energy efficiency practices at water/wastewater facilities.  Includes links to additional information

What energy conservation practices can I implement at the plant?


 Pollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency in POTWs

Minnesota specific recommendations for water and energy conservation at water/wastewater facilities.

 Energy Efficiency for Utilities

Overview information on energy efficiency

 Determining Energy Usage 

Steps to conducting an energy audit

 Cutting Energy Usage and Costs

Suggestions for reducing energy usage

Are there educational tools for operators and employees?


 Guidance Document: Water Conservation Education Programs

Handbook includes chapter on employee education

What are the financing options for water conservation at a water/wastewater facility?


 Infrastructure Financing and the Price of Water Services

List of programs and tools for assistance in financing water infrastructure improvements

How can a utility control water losses in a distribution system?


 Water Loss Control Resource Community

Manual, DVD, and water audit software for assessing system water losses

Water Conservation Programs

What is current per capita water demand in the Twin Cities?


 Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan

Regional and community water consumption based on MNDNR data.

What is the projected water demands for 2040?

 Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan

Regional and community water demands projections at current per capita rates, based on Metropolitan Council population projections.

What is the projected water demands for 2040 with water conservation?


 Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan

Regional and community water demand projections at reduced per capita rates, based on Metropolitan Council population projections.

What are the different types of rate-based conservation programs?


 Rate Structures and Conservation

White Paper on types of water conservation rate structures

Where can I find detailed information on each type of water conservation program?


 Water Conservation Programs

Resource Library of multiple programs and research

Where can I find examples of water conservation programs?


 Southern Nevada Water Smart Landscape Rebate for Business

Rebates for commercial water uses to convert to native landscape

 Chanhassen WaterWise Irrigation Audit Program

Free water audit of irrigation systems

 Elk River Smart Irrigation Rebate Program

Credit given on water bill if Smart Irrigation system installed

 Medina Save Money Irrigation Rebate Program

Separate water meters for irrigation systems

 Eden Prairie Water Conservation Rebate Programs

For Energy Star washing machines, WaterSense toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation controllers

How do I determine the cost/benefit of a water conservation program?


 Water Conservation Tracking Tool

Excel-based model with standardized methodology to evaluate water costs, savings, and benefits using pre-defined water conservation activities

What financing is available?


 Source Water Protection Grants

Eligibility includes public education programs

What are the steps to setting up a program?


 Guidance Document: Water Conservation Education Programs

Includes guidance for making the case for water conservation education

 Water Conservation Resource Community

Tools, issues and resources for water suppliers

What techniques are used to track success?


 A Guide to Customer Water-Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning

Free information available to AWWA members