Water metering essential to effective water management amid drought, study finds

Findings from a newly-released, "need-to-know" factsheet published by the Pacific Institute indicate that water meters serve as an essential element of effective water management, particularly amid the ongoing drought in California and the western regions of the U.S.

OAKLAND, CA, Sept. 24, 2014 -- Findings from a newly-released, "need-to-know" factsheet published by the Pacific Institute indicate that water meters serve as an essential element of effective water management, particularly amid the ongoing drought in California and the western regions of the United States.

As more Californians take a closer look at the use and management of water resources during the drought, water meters have come under increased scrutiny. Water meters have been in use for decades in most California communities, but they are not yet universal; more than 219,000 urban water connections in the state remain unmetered.

"Metering is an essential tool for water management, and expanding and improving metering should be a priority for all California utilities," said Kristina Donnelly, lead author of the study. "While the water savings from metering all connections in California will not create large volumes of water statewide, they can produce considerable local water savings."

Water meters, coupled with effective pricing structures, send a price signal to customers to reduce excessive or wasteful use. Metering in California finds that metering, and charging customers based on those meters, reduces water use by 15 to 20 percent.

Additional water savings are made possible by improving management of the water system, including identifying and repairing leaks in the water system. Moreover, metering provides customers with information about their water use, enabling them to make more informed decisions.

See also:

"Pacific Institute receives grant to help improve CA drought research, solution efforts"

"Drought-stricken West exhausting underground water resources, research shows"


About the Pacific Institute

Our aim is to find real-world solutions to problems like water shortages, habitat destruction, global warming, and environmental injustice. Based in Oakland, California, we conduct research, publish reports, recommend solutions, and work with decision makers, advocacy groups, and the public to change policy. Since our founding in 1987, we’ve become known for independent, innovative thinking that cuts across traditional areas of study. Our interdisciplinary approach not only helps us make connections that others miss, it also enables us to bring opposing groups together to forge effective real-world solutions. For more information, visit www.pacinst.org.

###

More in Drinking Water