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Benefits of the United States Nationwide Plumbing Efficiency Standards

MARY ANN DICKINSON, CALIFORNIA URBAN WATER CONSERVATION COUNCIL 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 703, Sacramento, California 95814, email: maryann@cuwcc.org LISA A. MADDAUS, CALIFORNIA URBAN WATER CONSERVATION COUNCIL 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 703, Sacramento, California 95814, email: lmaddaus@earthlink.net WILLIAM O. MADDAUS, MADDAUS WATER MANAGEMENT 9 Via Cerrada, Alamo, California 94507, email: billmaddaus@cs.com

ABSTRACT In 2000, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and California Urban Water Conservation Council partnered to study the merits of the United States National Plumbing Efficiency Standards. The study develops information on the value of the national plumbing standards, based on a nationwide survey of water supply utilities. Using base year 1999 water production levels, the study found forecasted water production due to the national plumbing code reduced by 5 percent in 2010, climbing to 8 percent water savings by 2020. Average utility savings of US$26 per person extrapolated to the United States as a whole amount to about US$7.5 billion in reduced infrastructure costs due to the national plumbing code. Including energy benefits from hot water savings, the total dollar savings to communities is higher at US$35 billion in the United States. This paper highlights an example methodology into the overall assessment of water and cost savings from water conservation programs. This methodology, more fully presented in the original report document, provides is particularly useful for water agencies quantifying benefits when seeking to avoid acquiring new source water supply and/or defer building capital projects.
KEYWORDS

Plumbing Standards, Infrastructure Cost Savings, Water Use Efficiency, Water Demand Management, Water Conservation, Water Demand Forecasting INTRODUCTION The AWWA Water Utility Council (WUC) requested that the Water Conservation Division provide information on the merits of retaining the current provisions of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 1992. Specifically the Water Utility Council asked for a nationwide analysis including:  Amount of future water saved by the Energy Policy Act  Amount of money saved by cost avoidance of capital expenditures, especially for drinking water and wastewater facilities, to meet projected population growth  Savings to taxpayers and local governments across the nation, not just in arid states This paper documents the value of continued implementation of the water efficient plumbing fixture standards in the Energy Policy Act through research funded by the AWWA Technical and Education Council (TEC).

1999) analyzed water use in 1200 homes in 12 study sites located across the United States. The analysis identified the changes in water demand and required capital investments in water production with and without the national plumbing efficiency standards. most of which is due to toilets and showerheads. The specific requirements for fixtures manufactured after January 1. showing the savings potential for efficient homes compared to older inefficient homes. demographics. Provisions of the 1992 Energy Policy Act The federal Energy Policy Act was passed in 1992 and the water provisions of the Act consolidated a patchwork of individual state regulations on water efficient fixtures. The analysis and results described below does not include savings to wastewater infrastructure costs and community cost savings where sewer charges are billed on a volume basis. This methodology is particularly useful for utilities quantifying benefits when seeking to defer acquiring new source water supply and/or defer building capital projects. and planned investments in water supply and treatment infrastructure from the surveys were entered into a database.5 gpf. a benefit cost model was used to estimate water savings and associated cost savings. The US Energy policy act is available via the web site: http://www.0 liters per flush (1.5 gallons per minute) 9. The report discussing the full details of the findings titled.gov/buildings/codes_standards/ Table 1 . By requiring standard flow rates and flush volumes for manufacturing plumbing units. 2001)) serves as an example methodology for assessment of water and cost savings from water conservation programs including implementation of plumbing fixture retrofit programs.6 gpf toilets reduced water use 52 percent and water efficient showerheads 21 percent.8 liters per flush (1. Subsequently. The study estimated that 1. 1994 are in Section 123 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and are summarized in Table 1 below. standard for commercial toilets took effect January 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf))* Urinals 3. BACKGROUND The AWWA sponsored the research to quantify the benefits of the water efficient plumbing fixture standards in the federal Energy Policy Act to water utilities and customers in both water and monetary savings.Summary of Energy Policy Act Plumbing Efficiency Standards Maximum Flow Rate or Flush Volume 9. Impact of the National Plumbing Efficiency Standards on Water Infrastructure Investments (California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC.0 gpf) *Blow out toilets limited to 3. as this data was unavailable. . Overall the conservation potential is estimated up to 32 percent.5 liters per minute (2.5 gpm) 6. the Act controlled not only fixtures in new construction but also in the replacement market.To perform the analysis data on water use.eren. Shown in Table 2 are estimates of indoor residential end uses with and without conservation. 1997.5 liters per minute (2.doe. Fixture Faucets Showerheads Toilets Water Saving Potential From Efficient Fixtures The Residential End Uses of Water study by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF.

demographics.000. Figure 1 – Survey Response Geographic Distribution for Survey Respondents .9 Study Approach In order to develop information on the value of the national plumbing standards.Residential Indoor End Uses of Water With and Without Conservation in Gallons per Capita per Day and Percent End Use Without Conservation Percent Gcd* (%) Toilets 27.7 20.8 10 Total Indoor Use 100 72. while capturing what is believed to be the significant variables in determining cost savings.1 1. Note that most of the largest number of respondents with system size less than 10.1 Dishwashers 1. This approach is based on utility responses that provided data on water use.7 Water Savings Percent Gcd* (%) 52 10.7 10.0 21.000.3 9.5 10. and planned investments in water supply and treatment infrastructure.4 1.1 5 100 49. the database was queried to determine representative scenarios.1 1.3 12.000 is from EPA Region 5. Data from the surveys was entered into a database and were analyzed using a benefit cost model to estimate water savings and associated cost savings.6 2 1 3.3 10.Table 2 .2 Clothes Washers 20. (2) 10. In order to extract a representative sample of utilities across the county.2 21.000.6 Faucets 15.1 10.6 1.700 utilities located across the United States by the AWWA and 653 utilities responded.3 1 Other Domestic 2.5 21 2. The scenarios were intended to represent typical utilities. and (3) more than 100. The survey responses were also divided into three system size categories based on population served: (1) less than 10.3 0 0 30 4. SURVEY AND DATABASE The nationwide survey of water supply utilities was designed with 20 questions to gather the type of information needed to make estimates of:  The amount of water to be saved over the next twenty years including losses to already achieved savings  Financial benefits from reduced water system operation and maintenance costs  Financial benefits from deferred capital projects (supply and water treatment.000 to 100. a nationwide survey of water utilities was conducted.5 Leaks 13.8 2.5 0 0 0 0 50 5 32 22. The analysis identified the changes in water demand and required capital investments in water infrastructure with and without the national plumbing efficiency standards.6 20. Shown in Figure 1 is the geographic distribution of the survey respondents by system size and EPA Regions. Figure 2 shows a map of the EPA Regions and Table 3 shows a listing of EPA Regions and corresponding states.)  Savings to customers in terms of water and energy bill savings Surveys were sent to 3.6 *Gcd – gallons per capita per day With Conservation Percent Gcd* (%) 19. Data from the surveys was entered into an MS Access database.1 Baths 1.1 Showers 17. For larger systems most of the respondents were from Region 9 in the western United States.6 2 0. The EPA Regions were used to represent geographic diversity while maintaining adequate sample size. This type of analysis has been used by many individual water utilities to evaluate and help select a program of water conservation measures that is best suited to local conditions.3 11.9 15.

Environmental Protection Agency .00 0 6 7 8 >10 0.00 0 3 4 5 EPA Re gion 10 .S.0 00 -100.00 0 9 10 P op ul ati on Figure 2 – EPA Regions Used in Analysis Source: U.Survey Distribution by Region and Size 70 60 50 S u r vey Co u n t 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 <1 0.

California. North Dakota. and Vermont. Arkansas. Benefits were computed at a discount rate of 3%. et. South Dakota. Washington ANALYSIS OF IMPACTS OF WATER DEMAND REDUCTION ON UTILITIES The following basic steps were used to estimate the benefits of retaining the national plumbing efficiency standards.  Water use then was separated into indoor and outdoor components based on a comparison of the lowest water use month with the average water demand in million gallons per day (MGD). 1996)  The operational cost savings (benefits) to the water utility were computed using the costs of electricity and chemical per million liters or million gallons (MG) of treated water produced. Idaho. Oklahoma. Massachusetts. Puerto Rico. et. Florida. Pacific Islands and Tribal Nations subject to US law Alaska. South Carolina.S. The steps are illustrated in Figure 1. Maryland. Indiana. The basic methodology used is described in more detailed in the Impact study report (Maddaus. Nevada.gov). RESULTS Analyses on the scenarios developed based on divisions by EPA Regions and system size categories were performed after the database was completed. District of Columbia Alabama. Mississippi. as provided in the survey. New Jersey. Minnesota.  Benefits to the water utility are based on the sum of the present worth of capital deferrals and reduced operation and maintenance costs. Montana. al.  The baseline water use projections with conservation were developed including the water savings from the plumbing efficiency standards.. Wyoming Arizona. Utah. Colorado. Projections were developed through the year 2030. Maine. with the exception of estimating the costs (since the plumbing efficiency standards costs have been absorbed and so benefit-cost ratios are not meaningful here). Virginia. Rhode Island. Missouri. Hawaii. New Hampshire. Michigan. In order to extract a representative sample of utilities across the county. Oregon.bls. Some .. Virgin Islands Delaware.  A Decision Support System (DSS) model was used to estimate the water savings and benefits from water use reductions. Tennessee. U. 2001) and the reference Impacts of Demand Reduction on Utilities (Bishop. West Virginia. Pennsylvania. Texas Illinois. al. numerous queries were performed on the database to determine representative scenarios based on available data.  Baseline water use projections were developed without conservation.Table 3 – Summary of EPA Regions & Corresponding States for Report Analysis EPA Regional Analysis Categories 1/2 3 4/6 5 7 8/6 9 10 States Connecticut. Kentucky. North Carolina. Nebraska New Mexico. Ohio. Kansas. Wisconsin Iowa.  Benefits each year in the DSS forecast period (30 years) were determined as the sum of the present worth of the capital deferrals and the present worth of the operational cost savings. Georgia. New York. as determined in the AWWARF Study. Louisiana.  Employment (jobs) associated with each sample was estimated based on statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor (www.

0 to 8. Extrapolation Of Results To The Nation As A Whole For the United States with population of 276. while capturing what is believed to be the significant variables in determining cost savings. using a per capita use of 605. Estimated reductions in projected daily water savings given expected population growth range is between 5. Average utility savings of US$26 per person extrapolated to the United States as a whole amount to about US$7.4 percent of total water production in 2020 for all size categories. such as on the east coast. Including energy benefits. with 570 utilities providing adequate data.respondents provided insufficient data to be included in the analysis.5 liters (12. climbing to 8 percent by 2020. the savings for Regions 1-3 ranged between 6. Each of the scenarios was modeled individually in the DSS model.7 liters (160 gallons) per person per day.000 people.8 gallons) per person per day or 13 trillion liters (3. Average water savings are derived from the results of the AWWARF Residential End Use study. The scenarios were intended to represent typical utilities. Results of Regional Analysis Average forecasted water use reduction in 2010 is projected to be 5 percent. whereas in Region 9 the range was from 6. the 2020 water savings are 48. Water savings vary regionally (See Figure 6) and where there is a higher proportion of water used indoors the percentage of savings due to the plumbing efficiency standards will be higher. the total dollar savings to communities is higher at US$35 billion in the United States. .5 billion gallons) per day of water saved due to the national plumbing code. Cost savings on a per person basis were:  US$14 to US$34 and average of US$26 to water utilities  US$91 to US$185 and average of US$127 to communities Energy savings significantly improve the cost savings to the community and are the reason for the higher value than from the utility perspective.9 and 11.7 to 11.000. This is more likely to happen in areas where outdoor water use is low.4 percent. Of course this figure does not include savings to wastewater infrastructure costs. For example.5 billion in reduced infrastructure costs due to the national plumbing code.4 percent. The latter figure is more representative of the very significant value of the plumbing efficiency standards to the nation.

00 $20. Through use of a national survey and subsequent calculations it has been shown that retaining the national plumbing efficiency standards will reduce water production by about 8 percent by the year 2020.0% 0. or 1.00 Utility Savings per Person. $ 10.0% 6.000 6&8 9 10 >100.00 1&2 3 4&6 5 7 EPA Region <10.0% 4.0% 1&2 3 4&6 5 7 >100.0% 2.000-100. $ $25.000 10.000-100.000 6&8 9 10 Figure 7 – Utility Monetary Savings by EPA Region and System Size $35.0% 8.00 $10.5 billion gallons) per day.3 trillion liters (3.000 10.0% Utility Savings per Person.00 $15.000 EPA Region <10.00 $5.00 $30.Figure 6 – Water Savings by EPA Region and System Size 12.00 $0. .000 CONCLUSIONS National Standards Save Water Research has shown that water efficient toilets and water efficient showerheads save water.

et. Denver. Denver. Water Infrastructure Cost Savings Likely To Be Higher Than Reported Here Based on the response to the survey it was clear to the researchers that the potential capital savings are underreported. Sacramento. (www. Maddaus.. (2001) Impact of National Plumbing Efficiency Standards on Water Infrastructure Investments. Maddaus Water Management 001 (925) 820 1784 001 (925) 820 2675 billmaddaus@cs. utilities will save money by retaining the national standards.org) Water Industry Database. William.cuwcc. (1991) American Water Works Association. Dickinson. USA. Contact Name: Telephone: Facsimile: Email: William O. RECOMMENDATIONS Additional Enhancements To Water Utility Data Bases Based on the researchers experience with questioning utilities about their water use and capital facility needs some recommendations can be made.  Planned long-range capital facility planning should be improved. Average utility savings of US$26 per person extrapolated to the United States as a whole amount to about US$7. USA. USA. Thus the value of infrastructure savings is likely to be higher than reported here. California. Denver Colorado.  The benefit-cost model used in this project could also be used to incorporate benefits from the plumbing standards from wastewater savings for comparable and more comprehensive results but not performed under the scope of this project. sometimes did not report any capital projects or only reported projects to accommodate growth for the next few years. the total dollar savings to communities is higher at US$35 billion in the United States. Peter. California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC). Maddaus. Mary Ann.  Monthly water consumption data by customer class is only available in a small portion of utilities.National Standards Will Save Money The analysis conducted in this project has shown that. Colorado. the American Water Works Association Research Foundation. due to reduced operation and maintenance costs and deferred and downsized capital projects. Utilities that were shown to be growing and said they needed additional supply and treatment. Jack. USA. REFERENCES Bishop. Mayer. Colorado. (1999) Residential End Uses of Water. Including energy benefits.5 billion in reduced infrastructure costs due to the national plumbing code. Such data is very useful in projecting water demands. American Water Works Association Research Foundation. Daniel and Weber. (1996) Impacts of Demand Reduction on Water Utilities. Lisa. al. and Maddaus.com . Lack of longrange plans makes assessing whether demand reduction options are cost-effective more difficult and may not allow for adequate time for planning and design of controversial projects.