Monday, August 11, 2008

Report On Water Conservation & The Compact

Aug 5: Environment Michigan (EM) issued a new report on water efficiency to boost its case for the Great Lakes Compact that is moving in Congress. The report -- Using Water Wisely -- calculates that six Southwestern states could save as much as 1.86 trillion gallons of water per year by dramatically improving efficiency of water use. The Soutwestern states include: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. EM says the Compact would both bar Great Lakes water from being transferred to places like the Southwest and require states in the Great Lakes region to practice water efficiency and conservation themselves.

John Rumpler, Environment Michigan’s Great Lakes program director said, “This finding of huge efficiency potential supports the Great Lakes Compact in two ways. First, it decisively shows that, with a little discipline and ingenuity, the Southwest can meet its own water needs, without siphoning from our Lakes. And second, it shows that here at home, there’s tremendous potential for us to conserve water -- thereby protecting the Lakes’ ecology while allowing for further economic growth.”

The report documents potential water savings in key sectors of the economy -- including agriculture, residential, commercial, and power generation. For example, the fast-growing city of Denver, CO is expected to save 1.5 million gallons of water per year with a program that pays businesses to switch to water-saving technologies. In other instances, mandatory standards could reduce water waste even more dramatically. The report says that by using existing water efficiency technologies and adopting effective programs to conserve water regionwide, six states in the Southwest could save as much as 5.7 million acre-feet of water per year.

Access a release from Environment Michigan (click here). Access a summary and link to the complete 29-page report (
click here).