Water Usage Drops Sharply

The RWSA reports the lowest demand for water in July in the past decade. Wow. What’s changed?  #

8 Responses to “Water Usage Drops Sharply”


  • What’s changed? They want to hike rates again.

  • People have changed– they woke up. I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to the old wasteful ways. At least I hope not.

    Some people get that (Norris et al), others don’t. To use a water-related metaphor, the glass is most definitely half-full. In addition to just being mindful and cautious water users, in the next few years more and more of us will be adding rain barrels, dual-flush toilets, etc. Since water conservation is a booming business, and this town is filled w/ creative people, I imagine that there will be lots of exciting new discoveries in water conservation.

    Sooo, if we act responsibly, conserve to the best of our ability, and dredge the reservoir, I imagine we’ll have more than an adequate water supply for many many years to come. Bu I guess that also depends on exactly how many Biscuits Runs folks have in mind. Lots? Then I guess the county will just have to reshuffle their priorities.

  • As someone with a vintage convertible who never puts the top up and doesn’t take it out in the rain, I can report there were many more drizzly days in July than usual. Rainfall measurements don’t tell us how many hours of light rain we get. It makes a big difference to gardeners if an inch of rain falls in one hour or over the course of 5 days. Ergo day after day we didn’t need to water the veggies.

  • I remember during the drought (was that 2002?) when the lists were released of the biggest users of water. They were all things like the bottling plants, not consumers. It’s entirely possible (to invent an example) that the Coca-Cola bottling plant had an equipment upgrade in July, and was operating at 20% capacity. That alone might explain a pretty big chunk of that drop.

    Regarding rainfall differences, I think that’s possible, but the data I’ve seen don’t bear it out. We got 2.43″ of rain this July, compared to 2.94″ last July, a decrease that should have resulted in more water use. (Though we got just 0.89″ in July 2007…but 2.77″ in July 2006.)

    Now, that month-long view isn’t a great way to look at it. If we got all 2.94″ last year in a single day, that still leaves the need for a great deal of watering. But that’s all I’ve got. :)

  • All it takes is a little less money in the bank account because of the economy and one starts to scrutinize every expense, particularly how much one wants green grass versus food on the table.

  • Albemarle County is also charging big water users more and little water users less. Ergo, conserving water saves money. Bet we’ll see people using less and less water, but the more they save the higher the rates will need to go to cover Rivanna’s fixed costs –so do we really want to spend $200 million or more dollars on new infrastructure ? and who will pay for it ?

  • I think it’s all those rainbarrels the folks in my neighborhood bought this spring (with a $30 rebate from ACSA for up to two rainbarrels). I have used little treated water in my gardens this summer, but then we have had a fair amount of rain.

  • I agree with Fred- a rainy summer means green lawns, gardens, etc with little need to water.

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