The Oklahoma Panhandle is an agriculturally-driven region that receives little annual precipitation, creating a dependence on groundwater drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer. Panhandle agricultural producers deal with a public perception of unchecked water use that threatens the environment and future economy of the region. Through the creation of the Panhandle Regional Water Plan and the adoption of efficiency measures to gauge municipal, agricultural and energy sector water use, the region will continue to preserve the life of the aquifer upon which its economy relies. This case study was presented at the Western Governors' Drought Forum meeting in Norman, Okla. Watch a video of the presentation or read and download the case study.
When showering, it is a common practice to start the shower and engage in other activities until the water is sufficiently warm. Experts estimate that this pattern of “behavioral waste” accounts for the duration of roughly 20% of every shower. Nationwide, shower related behavioral waste is estimated to account for 200 billion gallons of water use per year. This is not only wasted water, but also wasted energy as much of the water flowing down the drain is energy-rich hot water. High efficiency shower heads help reduce behavioral waste, but do nothing to solve the problem; however, recent innovations by Evolve Technologies allow water users to integrate “thermostatic shut-off valves” into their shower heads. The valves allow cold water to flow out when the shower is first turned on, but then shut off flow when water hotter than 95 degrees arrives. Thermostatic shut-off valves help reduce behavioral waste and save both water and energy.
Golf courses in drought-stricken regions are increasingly conflicted over how to provide a high-quality course while reducing water usage due to mandatory watering restrictions. The following case studies highlight golf courses in California that have employed landscaping and irrigation solutions that maintain golfer satisfaction while realizing significant reductions in water use. Read and download the case study
Heavily traveled roads at Newmont Mining Corporation’s Nevada operations have long generated high levels of dust. The dust creates safety concerns by limiting visibility for drivers, as well as respiratory concerns for workers and residents. The traditional method of controlling dust by applying a magnesium chloride solution to the road is water intensive. By implementing a dust-suppressing binding agent, Newmont was able to drastically reduce water consumption and help their bottom line. Read and download the case study
E & J Gallo Winery, the largest winery in the world, owns a vast expanse of land from Southern California to Mendocino County north of San Francisco. Given the weather variability across this area of California, evapotranspiration and crop water use vary greatly from one location to another. As a result, consumptive water use changes monthly across the landscape managed by the winery. To ensure efficient use of California’s limited water supply, Landsat thermal satellite imagery has been employed to track evapotranspiration and improve irrigation efficiency on approximately 20,000 acres of Gallo-owned vineyards. Read and download the case study
In 2011 three utilities – Austin Water Utility, Texas Gas Service, and Austin Energy – developed a collaborative resource conservation plan called the Multifamily Energy and Water Efficiency Program. The collaboration between the utilities aimed to conserve water, electricity, and gas through joint utility reviews of facility efficiency evaluations. Read and download the case study.
Intel’s Ocotillo Campus developed a water conservation strategy in response to the challenges that come with manufacturing in Arizona’s desert environment. In close partnership with the City of Chandler, Intel equipped its Ocotillo campus with innovative water reuse facilities to conserve limited water resources. Read and download the case study
Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the country’s largest park concessionaire, has set a company-wide goal of reducing total water usage 25% by 2015 with its intranet-based Ecologix program. Through the use of this program, Xanterra has implemented practices at its resorts to significantly reduce water usage and increase energy efficiency. Read and download the case study.