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Install a Drain-Water Heat Recovery System

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blog heat recoveryThe Department of Energy estimates that 80%-90% of the heat energy that is produced by water heaters is utilized once and sent down the drain. A drain-water heat recovery system draws energy from warm waste water and uses it to preheat incoming cold fresh water. The process involves copper drainpipe wrapped with copper coils to allow warm water to transfer heat through the pipe to the copper coils carrying cold fresh water. By preheating incoming fresh water a large amount of energy is saved, saving water in the process.

Learn more about drain-water heat recovery systems here.


Create a proactive leak detection program

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leakImplementing a proactive leak detection program in water delivery infrastructure reduces water loss. By being proactive and staying ahead of leaks, facility managers can eliminate water waste before excess costs accumulate on water that is extracted but never used. More information on leak detection in this White Paper from American Water.

Offer Turf Removal Rebates

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turf removalLandscape irrigation is estimated to account for one-third of all residential water use nationally. However, up to 50% of the water used for outdoor irrigation is wasted because of inefficient methods and equipment. Offering a turf removal rebate (usually in the form of "dollars per square foot removed") incentivizes residential users to replace water-intensive turf with drought-tolerant landscaping or artificial turf.

To see how that works, look at the SoCal Water Smart program from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Water Smart Landscapes rebate from Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Groundwater Recharge to Meet Future Needs

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Groundwater resources are a critical source of water in arid environments. This becomes especially true during drought. Credit-based systems that incentivize groundwater recharge help to insure future availability of groundwater stores. Surface water that is recharged and stored in aquifers does not suffer evaporation losses and is easily traded, as in Arizona’s active management areas. Learn more about Recharge Credits from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.