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Australian Water Efficiency Recommendations to U.S. Cities

Here are some of the recommendations from the Australia delegation
touring U.S. cities to share their experiences with water efficiency as
a result of prolonged drought (from meeting 1/13/09).

1. Price water at its true value.  National or Regional water initiative that regulates  water – pricing,  allocation and water for environment
2. Plan for rapid shifts in water loss in Colorado River basin
3. Encourage agricultural water efficiencies now to be prepared for future water restrictions
4. Create household use targets (35 gallons per person per day in most large Australian cities – compare that Tucson, AZ’s current average household water consumption of 114 gpcd)
5. Consider stormwater harvesting as another water source.  Harvest street stormwater, pipe to wetland for filtration then into aquifer. To this I would add the recommendation of harvesting street runoff in street-side water-harvesting earthworks to support native, food-bearing shade trees to passively cool our communities while controlling flooding and reducing water use.
4. Unbundle water rights to have more control
5. Permanent water conservation measures not restrictions
6. Watering Time of Day restrictions
7. Set reclaimed water use goal (45% target in South Australia). To this I would add set an on-site, gravity-fed harvested greywater use goal since such systems are much less energy intensive than reclaimed water systems.
8. Rainwater harvesting requirement on all new construction
Thanks to Illene Grossman of Tucson Water for this information. The notes in italics are my addition.

Passive SystemsStormwater & Street Runoff Harvesting