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5.1 Identify Conservation Measures and Programs
Supply Side Measures
- Target reduction of "Non-Revenue" water through the implementation of a program to replace all of the existing meters over a ten year period, commencing in the year 2010. The District intends to target the customers which have new radio-read meters installed, with the other demand side measures and programs. This is due to the uncertainty involved with the majority of the existing meters. Targeting the customers with new meters will provide more accurate tracking of the demand side conservation measures proposed.
- Leak Detection and Repair– SCMWD intends to enact a leak detections system. This procedure shall be performed annually, in the month of April. Each year the District shall identify older portions of the distribution system, or any suspect areas. The Leak Detection Company shall then perform a limited evaluation of that particular portion of the system which has been previously identified by the District. Upon detection of a major leak, the District shall revise the Long Range CIP, in order to affect repair of the leak. Approximately 1% of the District’s 185 miles of water distribution main (1.85 miles) will be evaluated annually. Analysis of this program (Worksheet 6-1 Leak Detection) indicates that any leaks discovered, should be repaired immediately. Most of these mains are already targeted for replacement in the Long Range CIP. Based on the results of the Leak Detection Program, the Long Range CIP may be modified to expedite repairs and replacement of problems which are identified by the Leak Detection Company.
- Water Revenue Systems – The District has had an inclining block rate since its inception. It was later refined in the mid 1970’s. This was done to help promote efficient irrigation and landscaping and to offset the cost of securing future water sources. In 2006, the District retained the services of Integrated Utilities Group, Inc. (IUG) to perform a study on the water rates and tap fees. The recommendations contained in the report suggested the following:
- Firstly, as it applies to the Plant Investment Fee (PIF) and Tap Fees, the District would be split into two areas and categories. The first being that portion of the District which is located to the west of the St. Charles River, and the second being the remainder of the District located east of the St. Charles River. The tap fees are detailed in Table 1.4a.
- Secondly, IUG recommended a revised set of water rates which are shown on Table 1.4b.
Demand Side Measures
- Efficient Irrigation – The District shall implement a rebate program for the first 20 customers, annually, who install rain sensors for automated irrigation systems. In addition, Individual audits shall be performed on each of the Institutional Users. The audit program was implemented at Pueblo County High School, in the summer of 2009, by "Water Returns", a private auditing company. The results of that audit were not available at the time of this report.
- Low Water Use Landscapes and Drought Resistant Vegetation– A program for replacement of existing lawn with xeriscaping and low water use plants has been analyzed. A cost analysis was performed for the installation and water savings, based on a 1,000 square foot area (Worksheet 6-1 LWU Landscapes). As a result, the District intends to offer a rebate of $1.00/square foot of lawn area which is replaced with Low Water Use Landscapes and Drought Resistant Vegetation. Currently, there is no mechanism which requires a Landscape Plan for new developments in Pueblo County.
- Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures and Water Efficient Appliances – This includes the installation, by individual customers, of Low Flush Toilets and Urinals, Low Flow Showerheads and Faucets, and Water Efficient Washing Machines. The District shall offer rebates, on a limited annual basis, to customers who install these devices. This program shall be targeted at the customers with new meters in order to provide accurate tracking of water savings, but will be available to all interested customers. This program shall also be contingent upon the availability of grant monies.
- Education – The District will coordinate with the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District SECWCD), to offer classes in outdoor irrigation practices and conservation landscapes. The SECWCD is currently preparing a conservation plan for the Arkansas Valley Conduit. The St. Charles Mesa Water District (SCMWD) is a strong supporter of the conduit, and support the conservation plan being prepared, and will provide information on training that will be provided. The SCMWD has participated in funding for the SECWCD xeriscape garden, and has the link to the SECWCD web site, on their web site. The SCMWD also provides information to customers of the District on lawn watering guides prepared by the SECWCD.
- Institutional Irrigation Audits – Commencing this in the spring of 2009, Water Returns (a non-profit water conservation group) commenced a comprehensive Irrigation Audit at Pueblo County High School. The audit includes analysis of the existing irrigation system, soil analysis, materials for consumer communication, informal training of grounds crews and a status report and outline of long range planning considerations. As of this date, the following low/no cost recommendations have been implemented:
- Adjust sprinkler head alignment and height.
- Increase fertilization and aeration to at least 3 times per year.
- Significantly reduce watering in accordance with recommended irrigation schedule
The goal of the audit is to reduce irrigation use by 30% to 50% once all recommendations are implemented.
Table 5.1 – St. Charles Mesa Water District Water Conservation Measures and Programs
5.2 Screening Criteria for Conservation Measures and Programs
Table 5.2 – St. Charles Mesa Water District Screening Criteria for Proposed Water Conservation Measures and Programs
5.3 Application of Screening Criteria
For each of the "yes" answers from Table 5.2, 2 points will be allotted. For each "don't know" answer 1 point will be allotted. For each "no" answer, 0 points will be allotted. The following Table 5.3 tallies the screening evaluation for each measure and program:
The Average Score, based on 2-"yes", 2-"don’t know", and 2-"no" answers is 6. From Tables 5.2 and 5.3, all of the proposed measures and programs listed shall merit evaluation in the Design Worksheets.