The need for new sustainable approaches to water use is urgent; 40 of the 50 states in the US are either already in water shortage situations, or are anticipating water shortage in the future. The Alliance for Water Efficiency (“AWE”), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to efficient and sustainable water use in North America, has partnered with Environmental Law Institute and River Network to launch a new initiative called Net Blue.
This initiative will employ the water demand offset policies that AWE started after they received funding from the Walton Family Foundation in 2013 to investigate “the issue of new development and where policies might already exist to require that the new water be ‘offset’ in some way,” according to the report Water Offset Policies for Water-Neutral Community Growth published by AWE.
These offset policies apply to communities and cities that are making new development plans, and work with the developers to create “a methodology for estimating savings of eligible efficiency measures, [and] also a water demand offset requirement in proportion to projected demand, mechanisms to verify implementation of efficiency measures, and polices to ensure demand reductions are permanent,” according to the report.
The report examines the effects that these offset programs have in 13 different communities throughout the U.S. Through collaboration with the Net Blue initiative team that employs the two other organizations previously named, the AWE is working towards developing a “model ordinance template” that communities and cities all over the nation could use to aid their economic and developmental growth with sustainable plans to offset water demands from said growth.
In the summary of the report, AWE states “water demand offset policies require action on the part of developers to ensure that construction of new developments does not result in an increase in overall water demands.” The AWE hopes to create efficient ways for both on-site and off-site conservation to stay in accordance with the neutrality motif of this entire initiative.
Read the full Net Blue report at: http://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/net-blue.aspx
Written by Stratecon Staff