Everybody is talking about ways to conserve water. Water conservation models prove to be a beneficial tool for municipalities to identify short and long-term water saving plans.

By Brian Skeens, CH2M HILL Senior Technologist

Brian Skeens will present his poster “Georgia Water Loss Auditing Validation –A Learning Experience” on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to noon and Thursday, Oct. 3 from 4:45-5:45 p.m., as well as present his paper “So Many Water Conservation Models, What’s the Difference” on Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 3:45-4:15 p.m., during the 2013 WaterSmart Innovations conference in Las Vegas.

With water shortages a real concern, identifying ways to conserve water is something people are talking about around the world. A number of water conservation modeling tools have been developed and used to evaluate water conservation practices, as well as to create effective short and long-term water conservation plans. While some of these models are proprietary, many are available to utilities to help them identify ways to conserve water in their systems.

The State of Georgia, under the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, was required to conduct an annual audit of its water system and implement a water loss control program. Using the AWWA Free Water Audit Software© provided by the International Water Association/American Water Works Association (IWA/AWWA), Georgia realized the large amount of variability in its water system and a need for validation. Continuing the audit, the State used the AWWA Water Audit Validation methodology to identify opportunities to implement water saving initiatives.

Georgia, along with many other municipalities, have found water conservation models to be helpful for evaluating the cost associated with implementing water saving practices, as well as calculating the volumes of water savings. The level of detail in these models varies, as well as the precision of the calculations. Some of the modeling tools include advanced features such as the effects of conservation on revenue, interactions between conservation practices that target the same water uses, the impact on future demand forecasts or the timing of capital project needs.

In my poster presentation, I will provide an overview of The State of Georgia’s water loss audit validation, and during my presentation, I will discuss several of the available water conservation modeling tools (such as spreadsheet tools developed based on EPA guidelines from 1998, the Maddaus DSS model, the Alliance for Water Efficiency Water Conservation Tracking Tool, IWR-Main, and AWWA and CUWCC models), compare their features and history, and evaluate their ability to serve their intended purpose.

Brian Skeens is a Senior Technologist in CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group, out of the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia office. He has more than 14 years of experience in water and wastewater projects for municipal water systems. Brian has served as technical and task leader on water conservation projects for cities and counties, as well as state and regional government entities to help make the most efficient use of water, and plan appropriately for and extend the life of current water supplies and other capital infrastructure.