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Water Conservation Policies

Municipal water management has traditionally focused on providing sufficient supply to meet the growing demand. In today's world, the emphasis is on conservation, and every gallon saved is one gallon less to be delivered, with commensurate savings across the board. Conserving water at the municipal level sets an example for residents, helps decrease capital expenditures for water delivery and wastewater treatment systems and cuts energy costs.

Innovative municipal water conservation programs may include:

• Lining and covering reservoirs to limit evaporation
• The use of water-saving fire equipment
• The installation of a closed-loop water reclamation system for irrigation purposes
• Metering for leak detection and accurate billing
• Organic turf and xeriscape plantings that require less water
• Educational programs for employees and managers
• Creation and distribution of public education materials

Sprinkler System

Fairview, TX provides tips on how to conserve water, information regarding rebate programs for washing machines and rain and freeze sensors.  The town also encourages residents to plant drought-tolerant plants in their yards.


Apex, NC's website has information regarding conservation practices, water restrictions, and how to obtain lawn irrigation permits.


North Andover, MA provides residents with various ideas for conserving water, including water conservation devices and rain sensors.


The Texas Water Conservation Implementation Task Force produced a comprehensive resource called Best Management Practices Guide.

The US Environmental Protection Agency provides both direct and indirect assistance in the area of municipal wastewater treatment technologies, including technical assistance for small communities.


[1] Olmstead, S. M., & Stavins, R. N. (2009). Comparing price and nonprice approaches to urban water conservation. Water Resources Research, 45(4)

[2] United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). WaterSense Statistics and Facts.

[3] Wisser, D., et al. (2010). The significance of local water resources captured in small reservoirs for crop production – A global-scale analysis. Journal of Hydrology, 384(3-4), 264-275.

[4] Mawhinney, J. R., & Back, G. G. (2016). Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems. SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 1587-1645.

[5] Blandin, G., et al. (2018). Can osmotic membrane bioreactor be a realistic solution for water reuse? Npj Clean Water, 1(1). 

[6] Koo, D., et al. (2015). Towards Sustainable Water Supply: Schematic Development of Big Data Collection Using Internet of Things (IoT). Procedia Engineering, 118, 489-497. 

[7] Cornell University Cooperative Extension Rockland County (2009) Conserve Water with Xeriscape Landscaping.

[8] EDP Guidance Department (2007) Water Conservation Education Programs.


[9] Kenney, D. S., et al. (2008). Residential Water Demand Management: Lessons from Aurora, Colorado. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 44(1), 192-207. 

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