Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$39.00



View/Hide Left Panel

tribute to a higher quality of life. However, such plans are merely words if the community does not participate in their design and support their implementation.

How can one achieve this involvement? The community should ask several fundamental questions:

  • What lifestyle and quality of life are desired by those in the community?

  • What land use, environmental quality, and settlement patterns would citizens like to see?

  • What water-related services are required for that desired future?

  • What is the cheapest way to provide those services that is consistent—economically, environmentally, and socially—with the desired community lifestyles?

To answer this last question, the answers to four more specific questions are required:

  • What are the whole-system, avoidable costs of developing a new source of water supply (including the costs of construction, operation, water treatment, heating, and environmental mitigation)?

  • What efficient technologies are available to provide the water-related services required by the community without diminishing the quality of service?

  • How much will it cost to provide for those needs through efficiency?

  • What are the most effective techniques available for implementing these efficiency measures?

The first steps toward building the required public consensus are to help the public recognize who will benefit—and in what ways—from using existing water supplies more efficiently and to get the comprehensive planning process under way.

Numerous studies have shown that efficiency programs can meet a community's water needs better and more cheaply than traditional supply programs. As the questions posed above are answered, this will tend to become clear to the community. Those who will benefit from a well-designed water efficiency program are to be found in all parts of the community. Consumers will enjoy lower water and energy bills and lower taxes as less money is needed to pay for water supply and treatment facilities. Utilities will avoid unnecessary expansions in supply and treatment facilities. Recreationists and the environment will benefit if at least a portion of the saved water reverts to streams, lakes, and wet-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement