16 Water Efficiency Projects Ready-to-go Across Washington to Create Jobs, Boost Clean Water Supply

Water efficiency investments key to economic growth and future water supply

January 23rd, 2009

<P>Betsy Otto, American Rivers, (202) 347-7550 x3033<BR>Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency, (909) 225-0479 </P>

Washington, DC — At least 16 water efficiency projects in Washington are ready to go and will create jobs and improve clean water supply, according to a quick survey conducted by the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The projects which provide a sample of water efficiency projects across the state include retrofitting plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems, upgrading water meters, and planting water-wise plants and other vegetation to decrease wasteful water use.

American Rivers and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) are calling for at least 20% of all drinking water infrastructure funding to be dedicated as grants for water efficiency capital projects to create jobs, boost the economy, and ensure adequate clean water supply for the future.

An economic analysis conducted by AWE estimates that total economic output per million dollars of investment in water efficiency programs is between $2.5 and $2.8 million. It estimates that a direct investment of $10 billion in water efficiency programs can boost U.S. employment by 150,000 to 220,000 jobs.

Water efficiency is far cheaper than building new dams and expanding reservoirs, up to 8500 times more cost-effective, at only $0.46 – $250 per 1000 gallons while new dam construction costs $4000 for the same amount of capacity.

“There is a hidden reservoir waiting to be tapped in Washington. Investing in these water efficiency projects will boost water supplies and create good jobs,” said Betsy Otto, vice president of strategic partnerships at American Rivers. “The time for water efficiency investments is now.”

“Water efficiency is the cheapest and smartest way to manage and stretch our existing water supplies for economic growth. A lot of electricity is used to pump and treat water, so using water more efficiently also reduces greenhouse gases,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, Executive Director at the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency compiled a list of examples of water efficiency projects in 11 states, including 566 projects totaling more than $2.3 billion that are ready to go within six months.

Water efficiency means using water more wisely — by fixing leaks, replacing old appliances and fixtures, and taking other common sense steps in our homes, businesses and communities.

“Water efficiency isn’t about telling people to shower just once a week, or to plant a cactus in their front yards,” said Otto. “It’s about improving our infrastructure to stop leaks, reduce the water we use for each task, protect healthy rivers, and create long-term benefits for our water supplies and communities.” 


About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.