US utility embarks on water efficiency programme

The Madison Water Utility in Madison city in the US state of Wisconsin announced its water efficiency programme to help its customers reduce water usage and costs.

The utility firm will distribute to its customers some 1,500 water efficient showerheads under the WaterSense programme.

WaterSense is a project designed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve water conservation through the use of various techniques.

Through the WaterSense project, EPA is partnering with multiple companies to develop and certify products and services which are 20% more water efficient in relation to the EPA’s water efficiency baseline.

The use of the WaterSense showerheads is expected to help an average family save up to 2,900 gallons of water per annum.

In addition to helping consumers reduce their water bills, the new showerheads will help them reduce their energy bills by eliminating the use of energy to heat excess water which would be lost to waste.

Amy Barrilleaux, spokesperson at Madison Water Utility said the company will continue to seek and implement various technologies to improve its customer services to its 250,000 water consumers by helping them to reduce their water consumption and costs.

Through the implementation of water efficiency projects, the utility firm has in the past 30 years reduced the average water usage per customer from 80 gallons a day to between 55 and 64 gallons a day.

In 2009, Madison Water Utility introduced a programme which awards consumers with $100 credit on their water bills for buying a WaterSense toilet.

The programme alone has helped the company to save a half billion gallons of water since its launch.

Water efficiency

Despite multiple efforts being employed by utilities and cities in the US to improve their water efficiency and meet the growing demand of water, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reported to have surpassed the US and Europe in electricity and water efficiency. [US utility implements new software to manage water distribution].

In late October, on a visit to the UAE, a World Bank delegation praised efforts by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in boosting electricity and water efficiency.

The Khaleej Times stated that “a visiting World Bank delegation has expressed admiration and appreciation for the leading and innovative projects of DEWA.”

The delegation highlighted the results of DEWA’s projects and how they have enhanced the utility’s position as a “global role model” in its efforts to implement smart applications and systems.

The World Bank said that DEWA’s electric and water projects have allowed it to surpass European and US companies in efficiency, reliability, and raised Dubai and the UAE’s position as a global hub for trade, finance and tourism.

The visit forms part of DEWA’s continuing cooperation with the World Bank, keeping them up to date on the latest achievements, initiatives and projects of DEWA to help achieve the vision of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, to improve government services and performance, encourage a culture of innovation, and spread it as common practice.

The aim is also to develop government services, overcome challenges, and contribute to improving administrative government work, while enhancing a culture of innovation and sustainability.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.