Deep Dive into Residential Water Savings ?
Water is precious in the Arizona desert, and we know it’s important to Gilbert residents, too: 80% of residents made efforts to conserve water in the last 12 months.
In an effort to reduce water usage and make conserving water an easier process, the Gilbert water conservation team has a water efficiency checkup program free of charge for residents.
As part of the program, a trained water conservation specialist evaluates the irrigation system, checks for water leaks, and offers customized recommendations for increased water savings at your home.
How much water is Gilbert saving in the Water Efficiency Checkup program? Let’s take a deep dive into the data from 2011-2016.
How much water is saved through the program?
We’re working with a large amount of water. So, let’s talk about water quantity in kilogallons (kgals) moving forward. One kilogallon is 1,000 gallons. In Gilbert, one person uses, on average, 1,500 gallons of water per month indoors. If there are four people living in a home, they would use 6,000 gallons of water indoors for a month.
To help paint a picture, the aquarium in the hotel below is a 1,057-gallon tank. So just one of these tanks is close to one kilogallon.
photo: Living Color Aquariums
Prior to an efficiency checkup, the average water consumption per home was 250 kgals per year*. After one year in the program, the average water consumption dropped to 205 kgals. That’s a significant amount of savings: 45 aquariums worth per home! ?
*250 kgals does not reflect the typical home water use in Gilbert. Most residents who request for a Water Efficiency Checkup do so because their water consumption is higher than usual. We also reach out to homes that have a high water use occurrence to help save water.
Are the savings maintained over time?
After assessing the water usage at homes in the program for five years, we found that, on average, 9,081 kgals of water was saved consistently per year, all thanks to our Water Efficiency Checkups!
An interesting tidbit we found is that water consumption reductions were maintained at the address of the checkup regardless of ownership or occupant changes. For example, in 2011, there was a reduction in water consumption, even with new tenants occupying some of the homes. Our program not only educates the resident on water savings but also sets up the house for long-term water savings.
Is the program cost-effective?
The amount of time and energy it takes to run the Water Efficiency Checkup program equates to about $3 per kgal. If we needed to buy new water to replace water lost, it would cost $16.16 per kgal for a new long term water right. For example, in 2011, the cost to provide this service and help residents save water was $35,024. However, if we didn’t provide this service, lost water and had to buy new water, it could have cost $188,665. Whoa! That’s a lot of savings that could go to aquariums. This tells us that conservation is also a more cost-effective water supply, especially in the desert.
How are we continuing to achieve these savings?
We’re saving money and water through the Water Efficiency Checkup program, of course! Gilbert Water Conservation offers free Water Efficiency Checkups to assess the potential water savings for any Gilbert water customer. They are effective at achieving real water savings, conserving an average of 49,426 gallons per individual checkup.
Saving water enhances our Gilbert way of life. We’re committed to saving water as we head into becoming the City of the Future. Join us!
Find out how you can easily save hundreds of gallons of water a year. Request a Water Efficiency Checkup today in Gilbert 311, watch how a checkup is done, stay up-to-date on water news by subscribing to a monthly newsletter, and/or learn more at gilbertaz.gov/water.