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Water Efficiency Committee Call
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Committee Conference call

When: 8/22/2013
11:30 AM
Where: conference call
Contact: Laurie Dougherty

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 phone 605-562-3000
code 553113

 Meeting Follow-up Work

1. Everyone - please give feedback to the fact sheets to Michelle and Sharon. If you need a copy, please contact

2. Terry- will provide Danielle updated Water Saver award documents (including scoring criteria) to send out to the committee for feedback. Terry will target the final okay to be done in time for the July Board meeting.

3. Laurie – will follow up that Cary and presenter are scheduled for a webinar practice with Marianne.

4. Danielle - follow up with Laurie to see who should be included in a targeted list for advertising the water loss webinar series.

5. Jerry - ask WUC to comment on behalf of the association on the plumbing code.

6. Danielle – will submit abstracts for WATERCON - 2 of them.

Minutes from last meeting

In Attendance:

Ermin Arslanagic, Mike Ramsey, John Van Arsdel, Karl Johnson, Mary Ann Dickinson, Terry McGhee, Bill Christensen, John Dillon, Carolyn Grieves, Danielle Gallet, Tom Pape, Cary McElhinney

Approval of the April minutes:

Call for approval for May 2013 meeting minutes - all approved.

Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) Initiatives:

Danielle invited Mary Ann Dickinson from AWE to talk give an update about what AWE has been working on and what resources they have available for utilities. Mary Ann is a member of our Water Efficiency Committee, and there are quite a bit of synergies between the resources they have and what our committee is working on. Below is a brief summary of that conversation.

AWE is based in downtown Chicago; it is an international organization, member-based that assists communities and business in achieving greater water efficiency and sustainable water use. They have a resource library with many topic areas that is currently free to the public; however you are encouraged to check it out now as it may be locked down to members only in the near future: AWE also has a website for water users that was built with the Field Museum based-on zip code data. The tool shows how household water use is now and how it compares to your neighbors, and also addresses your energy footprint: They have also launched a campaign that is free to its members called Never Waste Consumer Campaign:

In addition to the resources above, AWE has a number of programs that may be of interest to this committee such as water loss. They are involved with the national AWWA Water Loss Committee, and they will be doing a preview workshop at a Wisconsin Water Conference this coming September, which folks are invited to. They are also very interested in the water and energy area. Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and AWE are in conversation about a joint project, and are hoping that Illinois could be the first to give a tax credit for installation of the energy saving devices.

AWE just finished some webinars on rates and the issue of conservation and loss of revenue that comes from the conservation of water. They are working on a rates handbook, which is being prepared on how to design a rate structure that keeps you stable. They are coming up with a better set of strategies to encourage consumers to save water. AWE is also creating a digital resources hub for water utilities. How do you get your city council members to say "Yes" in getting a rate increase? They are working on models Stanford University, and looking for other utilities that need help with their rate structure issues. In addition to working with utilities on rates and conservation, AWE is also looking to provide great outreach to the business communities. Businesses want to show reduction in water footprint and carbon footprint. AWE is working to secure funding to design a water footprint tool for the businesses.

AWE is a great resource for our committee, and we look forward to keeping in touch with them in the future. If you are interested in learning more or reaching out to AWE directly please feel free to: 773-360-5100.

Committee Initiative Updates:


Laurie reported on the webinar for July 10th, we currently have about 35 folks signed-up. Cary will be the moderator. It is an outdoor water efficiency utility webinar, details below:

Sustainable Landscapes Designed for Potable Water Conservation

Date/Time: Wednesday July 10th from 12-12:30pm

Speaker: Tom Barrett, Green Water Infrastructure, Inc.

Abstract: In the midwest 30% of domestic potable water is used outdoors. Most of this water is used for landscape irrigation and overwatering is the single greatest cause of plant death. It has been estimated that 60% of outdoor water use is wasted. Proper plant selection and design can create a water conserving landscape that is beautiful and functional. Native plants and plants adapted to the local climate can save 20% to 50% of outdoor water use. In this webinar you will learn how combining proper plant selection with good soil management practices and education can significantly reduce outdoor water use.

Special update: master gardeners are also attending the workshop and AWE will be co-sponsoring the webinar with ISAWWA and will be inviting a larger pool of utilities from their membership as well – great collaboration!!!

WATER LOSS Series: Danielle detailed that the water loss series is on schedule. We are looking for utility managers to lead webinars who are using M36 in their water loss auditing. Ideally we want to have speakers from a medium and a small size utility for the second and third webinar. There were some suggestions on the call for utilities to look into, if anyone has recommendations, particularly in the regional area of the Great Lakes, please let Danielle know.

Fact Sheets

You received in a separate email with the latest draft of the fact sheet created by Michele and Sharon. They have received some feedback from the group, but we need to better support them in creating this first ever fact sheet. Attached to the minutes is the latest version – please consider reviewing and providing constructive feedback to move this initiative along. Thank you!

Water Saver Award

Terry McGhee updated the committee on the Water Saver Award: the scoring matrix is going well, which he and Mike Ramsey collaborated on. We will be sending out these materials for the committee to review before finalizing the scoring criteria. We are on track to present our first award at WaterCon 2014. We plan to advertise the award opportunity in the next issue of Splash and send out via email.

Other Committee Announcements/Info:

WATERCON 2014 – a reminder that abstracts are due by August 1st. Danielle will be submitting two abstracts on behalf of our committee – one on our committees initiatives and one as a place holder for our Water Saver awardee.

Illinois Plumbing Code – Tom Pape announced that the Illinois is considering changes to the plumbing code. It is up for public comment now and may be a very hot topic to bring forward at WATERCON. Suggest that we collaborate with the Backflow Committee and the Water Utility Council. Tom will keep up with what is happening on the plumbing code.

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