Drought is not the only factor in the U.S. clean water shortage. We have aging infrastructure issues as demonstrated in Flint, Michigan; pollution as experienced in Hoosick Falls, NY and the loss of aquifers/saltwater intrusion in Florida and other coastal states.
Utilities and consumers have begun to meet the challenge. California, hardest hit, implemented mandatory water cutbacks for the state, instituting limits and guidelines for both commercial and residential property. Residents are tasked to reduce potable water usage by 25% through February 28, 2016, while certain high-usage areas are expected to cut water consumption by as much as 36%.
To date, no other states have enacted such stringent legislation. But if state water planning does not yield results, others across the country will follow.
One of the best stewards for water conservation has been identified as Community or Homeowner Associations (HOA). For their part many have already executed key measures:
Water-conscious management of common areas in terms of landscaping and lawn maintenance
Monitoring and repairing community irrigation systems
Maintaining conservation education messages in HOA newsletters and emails
Allowing homeowner use of artificial turf or pavers vs foliage
Educating homeowners on drought-resistant plantings for their landscaping
Conducting a third-party water usage audit to uncover issues and develop strategies
As water conservation techniques and technologies evolve, there are bound to be more legislated actions and the institution of penalties for both HOAs and consumers.
Get ahead of this. Stay on top of state water cutbacks that can conflict with your existing HOA landscaping regulations. As each homeowners association responds to new regulations in their area, communication with residents is critical. Create a water reduction plan with measurable objectives now and share with residents.
We at MuniAppare committed to the safety and ample supply of clean drinking water. We are already working with a number of water managers and utilities in the U.S and South America to support the strongest efforts for conservation and communication. Review the app and contact us for information on how it can help your organization.