Texas Water Conservation Scorecard
Original 2016 Scorecard and Interim Annual Updates

 

Glossary

 

Definition of Terms

 

Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are a menu of options for which entities within a water use sector can choose to implement in order to achieve benchmarks and goals through water conservation. Best management practices are voluntary efficiency measures that are intended to save a quantifiable amount of water, either directly or indirectly, and can be implemented within a specified timeframe.
Definition from the Texas Water Development Board: http://www.twdb.texas.gov/conservation/BMPs/index.asp

 

Gallons per Capita per Day (GPCD): GPCD is the Net Use, divided by a Population Estimate, divided by 365 days. Net Use is defined as the volume of water taken into the system or systems of a city, minus water sales to other water systems and large industrial facilities.
Definition from the Texas Water Development Board: http://www.twdb.texas.gov/index.asp

 

Conservation Pricing Signal: A rate structure designed and priced in a way that would significantly increase a customer’s water bill when he or she uses more (discretionary) water and conversely offers a significant decrease in the bill when the customer conserves.
Definition from The University of North Carolina Environmental Finance Center http://www.efc.sog.unc.edu/


Agencies and Associations

 

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is a state agency that provides water planning, data collection and dissemination, financial assistance and technical assistance services to the citizens of Texas. http://www.twdb.texas.gov/about/index.asp

 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the environmental agency for the state. The TCEQ implements a broad range of air, water, and waste regulatory and compliance activities. http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/

 

The Texas Municipal League (TML) is a non-profit association which exists solely to provide services to Texas cities through legislative, legal and educational efforts. http://www.tml.org/


Definition (provided by the TWDB) of Required Submittals

 

Water Conservation Plan (WCP): The purpose of a Water Conservation Plan is to ensure water use efficiency within a water utility’s operation. The Water Conservation Plan is a strategy or combination of strategies for reducing the consumption of water, reducing the loss or waste of water, improving or maintaining the efficiency in the use of water, or increasing recycling and reuse of water.

 

Water Conservation Plan Annual Report (Annual Report or AR): The purpose of an Annual Report is to evaluate a utility's progress of program implementation for the water conservation plan. The effectiveness of the water conservation plan is in the implementation of the water conservation program. Reviewing the program annually helps to evaluate program successes and needs.

 

Water Audit Report (WAR)/ Water Loss Audit (WLA): The purpose of a Water Loss Audit is to provide utilities with a standardized approach to auditing water loss with a reliable means to analyze their water loss performance. Completing the Water Loss Audit will help a utility understand where and how much water is being lost from the distribution system and will provide a baseline to track and improve water loss control. All retail public water systems with more than 3,300 connections or a financial obligation to TWDB are required to complete and submit a Water Loss Audit annually. All other retail public water suppliers are required to submit a Water Loss Audit to the agency every five years. The next five-year deadline to submit an audit is for the 2020 reporting year, due May 1st, 2021.

 

Data Sources

 

The Water Conservation Plan, Annual Report, and Water Audit Report data were obtained from Texas Water Development Board. Water rate pricing data was obtained from the Texas Municipal League (TML), the utility website, and communication with utility staff.

 

Data Sources by Year

 

2016 Original Scorecard

 

2017 Interim Update

 

2018 Interim Update

*Note: Information gathered from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) reflect reports submitted in the previous year. For example, the 2016 original scorecard used reports submitted to the TWDB in 2015.


Data Sources and Resources by Question

 

1. Did the Utility submit its most-recent required Water Conservation Plan (WCP) to the State? WCP or Water Conservation Information Submitted?

 

Purpose: The Water Conservation Plan ensures water use efficiency within a water utility’s operation. Submitting this plan every 5 years is essential to a utility reducing the consumption of water, reducing the loss or waste of water, and improving or maintaining the efficiency in the use of water. This information is also helpful to the public, planning organizations, and agencies managing our state water resources. The next Water Conservation Plan is due May 1, 2019.


Data Source(s): 2014 Water Conservation Plan, TWDB

 

2. Did the Utility submit its most recent Annual Report (on implementation of its Water Conservation Plan) to the State? Annual Report (AR) Submitted?

 

Purpose: The Annual Report evaluates a utility’s progress of program implementation for the water conservation plan. Submitting this report is essential to a utility reviewing conservation programs annually and evaluating program successes and needs.


Data Source(s): Annual Report, TWDB

 

3. Did the Utility submit its most-recent annual Water Audit Report to the State?
Water Audit Report (WAR) Submitted?

 

Purpose: The Water Loss Audit provides utilities with a standardized approach to auditing water loss. Submitting this report is essential to help a utility understand where and how much water is being lost from the distribution system. This information is also helpful to the agency managing and planning our state water resources. The TWDB provides Water Loss Audit and Leak Detection Workshops*. All retail public water systems with more than 3,300 connections or a financial obligation to TWDB are required to complete and submit a Water Loss Audit annually. All other retail public water suppliers are required to submit a Water Loss Audit to the agency every five years. The next five-year deadline to submit an audit is for the 2020 reporting year, due May 1st, 2021.


Data Source(s): Water Audit Report, TWDB


Resources(s): Water Loss Audit Resources

 

* Please note: A new legislative requirement under HB1573 requires water loss auditor training prior to submittal of a water loss audit to the Texas Water Development Board

 

4. What was the Utility’s most recent reported total percent water loss as stated in its Water Audit Report? Total Percent (%) Water Loss?

 

Purpose: The percentage of water lost from the distribution system provides the utility with a baseline from which to monitor and improve water loss control. A higher percent water loss potentially means that a utility is losing water that could be used or conserved to delay investment in expensive water infrastructure projects.


Data Source(s): Water Audit Report, TWDB


Resources(s): The State of Water Loss Control in Drinking Water Utilities 

 

5. Does the Utility (or municipality in which it is housed) have a publicly accessible website on which the public may quickly find the utility’s Water Conservation Plan (WCP) and/or other conservation information? WCP and Conservation Info Accessibility?

 

Purpose: The WCP is a strategy or combination of strategies for reducing the consumption of water. Communication of the WCP and/or water conservation information on the city website educates the public on current programs and how residents can become more engaged in conservation practices.


Data Source(s): Utility website

 

6. Did the utility achieve the 5-year goal for water use reduction stated in its “2009” or initial Water Conservation Plan (WCP)? Achieved 5-Yr Conservation Goal Set in 2009 WCP?

 

Purpose: Comparing a utility’s 5-year water conservation goal in 2009 to its actual water use in 2014 provides feedback as to the utility’s progress in water use reduction.


Data Sources: 2009 Water Conservation Plan and 2015 Annual Report, TWDB.

 

7.Has the utility already achieved a relatively low GPCD (gallons per capita per day of water use)? If not, what is the 5-year goal for water use reduction in its “2014” or most recent Water Conservation Plan? Set a Strong Conservation Goal in Its 2014 WCP?

 

Purpose: Determining whether a utility has set a strong 5-year conservation goal in 2014 provides feedback as to the utility’s willingness to implement water use reduction strategies. The utility is given more points for a higher percent water use reduction goal or for currently having a moderate (less than or equal to 140) or low (less than or equal to 125) total GPCD. See “Calculations” section below to understand how the “water use reduction rate” was calculated.


Data Source(s): 2014 Water Conservation Plan, TWDB

 

8. How many of the municipal water conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) presented in the state’s BMP guide did the utility include in its most recent Annual Report? Number of Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented?

 

Purpose: BMPs are voluntary efficiency measures that are intended to save a quantifiable amount of water and can be implemented within a specified timeframe. The greater number of BMPs a utility implements the more extensive reach water conservation measures will have.


Data Source(s): Water Conservation Plan Annual Report aka Annual Report, TWDB


Resource(s): The TWDB provides over twenty Municipal Water Conservation BMPs to assist utilities in their conservation efforts.

 

9. Has the utility (or the municipality under which it operates) implemented any mandatory outdoor watering schedules on an ongoing basis (not just as part of a drought contingency plan)? Outdoor Watering Schedule?

 

Purpose: Studies have shown that annually outdoor water use for single-family homes in Texas accounts for approximately 31% of water use. A significant reduction in annual and peak water use could be realized if a city implemented a mandatory year-round outdoor watering schedule.

 

Data Source(s): Utility website.


Resource(s):

 

10. Does the utility’s water rate structure send a strong “water conservation pricing signal” to the utility’s single-family residential customers? Conservation Pricing Signal?

 

Purpose: A water conservation pricing signal is a rate structure designed and priced in a way that significantly increases a consumer’s water bill when he or she uses more water. The pricing signal is determined by calculating the percent increase in the amount a residential customers pay using 5,000 gallons versus 10,000 gallons. See “Calculations” section below to understand how the “conservation rate structure” was calculated.

 

Data Source(s):

Resource(s):

 

Calculations

 

 

Water Conservation Pricing Signal

 

If residential customer “A” uses 5,000 gallons of water a month and pays $17.27 and residential customer “B” uses 10,000 a month and pays $28.62 the percent increase is calculated by:

 

$11.35 ÷ $28.62 = .3965 x 100 = 39.65%

 

Point Breakdown:

 

Annual Reduction Rate Calculation

 

The annual percent reduction value is calculated as follows: dividing the change in GPCD (difference between baseline and goal) by the number of years of change (5-yr conservation goal = 5) by the current (baseline) GPCD and multiplying by 100. Example: Let’s say a utility has a 5-yr water conservation goal of 196 GPCD and a current or baseline water use of 204 GPCD in their 2014 WCP.

 

Annual percent water use reduction is calculated by:

8 ÷ 5 ÷ 204 = .007843 X 100 = .78%