Water – our new most valuable resource

“Water – our new most valuable resource” on “Southeast Green” on BlogTalkRadio.  Steve Williams, LEED AP of Water Management discusses the ins and outs of water conservation and why it’s so important for businesses

Water – our new most valuable resource 01/04 by Southeast Green | Blog Talk Radio.

Population growth stirs worries about stress on region’s water supply | ajc.com


By Leon Stafford

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When Colin Cavill began planning the 325-unit Enso Atlanta apartments near Grant Park three years ago, water was at the top of his mind.

Colin Cavill focused on water conservation when he developed the Enso Atlanta apartments in Grant Park, which, among other things, has a saltwater pool and a cistern for  rainwater harvesting that holds over 76,000 gallons.

Phil Skinner, AJC Colin Cavill focused on water conservation when he developed the Enso Atlanta apartments in Grant Park, which, among other things, has a saltwater pool and a cistern for rainwater harvesting that holds over 76,000 gallons.


Simply put: The metro’s area’s supply is limited, and he didn’t want to make matters worse.

So Cavill — who says his company, Capital 33, wanted to “help reduce our footprint” — developed the complex as a green project. Toilets and faucets are low-flow, shower heads are water-efficient, and a cistern collects water for the landscaping.

Cavill’s efforts may need to be become the norm as the state struggles with its limited water supply, experts say.

Metro Atlanta grew by 1 million people over the past decade, according to the U.S. census, and water — or lack thereof — could decide its continued strength as a region, the experts said.

“Growth goes where the water is and not vice versa,” said Gil Rogers, senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Larry Neal, a senior principal for Mactec Engineering and Consulting, which has worked with the state on drinking water assessments, said a solution is critical for job growth. If water supply is stretched thin, it could be more expensive for business to tap. That could dissuade prospects from considering locating in metro Atlanta.

“If there is uncertainty,” he said, “it can cause a business to steer away. … You don’t want water to become the limiting factor in any given area.”

The state recognizes the risks. It has authorized the construction of reservoirs, created a Water Supply Task Force and adopted some conservation measures. Many cities and counties in the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, which includes metro Atlanta, are offering rebates to homeowners who replace older toilets with low-flow models.

One of the biggest challenges remains the state’s dispute with Alabama and Florida over access to Lake Lanier. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in 2009 that it was illegal for the Army Corps of Engineers to draw water from the lake to meet the needs of 3 million metro residents. Magnuson set a July 2012 deadline for the states to resolve the dispute. Otherwise, metro Atlanta would be limited to the same amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when the population was less than one-third its current size. Georgia is appealing the ruling.

“Some of our issues are the litigation and uncertainty about the future,” said Pat Stevens, chief of environmental planning at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Stevens said that despite the population growth, water use in metro Atlanta is down. She said the population in the North Georgia water district grew 28 percent between 2000 and 2009. Usage, however, was down to 512 million gallons of water a day in 2009, compared with a high in 2006 of 602 million gallons.

A number of factors led to the reduction, including conservation, severe water restrictions during several years of drought and the economic downturn, which may have forced residents to curtail tapping water they could not afford.

Also, 2009 was a rainy year, lessening the need to water yards and gardens.

“It really rained a lot that year. Actually the last year that was more close to our norm was in 2006,” Stevens said. The metro area’s rainfall was 69.4 inches in 2009 and 48.5 inches in 2006.

Alan Wexler, president of Databank Atlanta, a r, said if water were to become less abundant, it could lead to restrictions that would put commercial and residential real estate projects on hold. That happened in the years of drought in 2007 and 2008.

Solving the issue is critical because the economy has stymied real estate growth the past few years. When the recovery comes, no one wants to be sidelined because of water, he said.

“You have so many factors that are fluid right now,” he said.

Population growth stirs worries about stress on region’s water supply  | ajc.com.

pottygirl.wordpress.com: Gainesville, GA

pottygirl.wordpress.com: Gainesville, GA #ToiletRebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa: http://wp.me/pd0E9-js

Gainesville, GA Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa

Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa.

Toilet rebate criteria change

GAINESVILLE – The criteria for the City of Gainesville Plumbing Retrofit Program has changed. 

Under the new guidelines, only high efficiency toilets that are 1.28 gallons per flush or less will be eligible for the credit offered by the Gainesville Public Utilities Department.

Under the retrofit program, any single-family residential customer, whose home was built prior to 1993, can replace older model toilets with new water efficient models and receive a $75.00 credit per toilet replaced. The credit is applied to the applicants’ City of Gainesville water bill.

The City of Gainesville was the first to offer a plumbing retrofit program in North Georgia and in the past has offered the credit for 1.6 gpf toilets.

These eligibility changes are due to measures passed by the legislature in the water stewardship act. These changes will take effect statewide in July 2012. However, to continue as a leader in water conservation, the City of Gainesville has opted to implement the changes this year.

A typical family of four can save around 35 gallons a day or 12,775 gallons a year by replacing one 3.5 gpf toilet with a 1.28 gpf toilet.

Rebate applications must be accompanied with an original receipt and can be found online at http://www.gainesville.org/public_utilities or the Public Utilities Building located at 757 Queen City Parkway, SW Gainesville, GA 30501. Please see application for complete details.

For more information contact Jennifer Flowers at (770) 532-7462, ext. 3287.


pottygirl’s blogging year 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 90 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 198 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 171kb.

The busiest day of the year was May 3rd with 93 views. The most popular post that day was Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, greenhomeguide.com, search.aol.com, linkedin.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for penta water scam, caroma toilet reviews, the great pacific garbage patch facts, water conservation, and water scams exposed.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Who’s To Blame For The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Look In The Mirror. September 2009
1 Like on WordPress.com,


10 drinking water scams exposed November 2009
1 comment


Toilet Rebate Programs in the US February 2009


Caroma Toilet Review | H2O Report October 2009


City of Raleigh, NC WaterSense toilet replacement rebate program June 2010

Commerce gets loan for water conservation || OnlineAthens.com

Commerce gets loan for water conservation || OnlineAthens.com.

The City of Commerce has received a $575,000 low-interest loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to reduce the amount of water lost from the municipal system each month.

Commerce will pay 3 percent interest on the one-year loan, but because it is a water conservation project, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority will forgive 50 percent of the principal.
Commerce officials will use the loan to pay for leak detection equipment, leak repairs and to replace old water meters. The city loses about 18 percent of its water through leaks in pipes, city officials said this summer.

Georgia Water Conservation by Alice Miller Keyes, Georgia EPD

Georgia Water Conservation by Alice Miller Keyes, GA EPD – Presentation Transcript

  1. Water Conservation in Georgia 2010: A BIG YEAR Alice Miller Keyes GA Environmental Protection Division Watershed Protection Branch
  2. Water Conservation in Georgia
    • The beneficial reduction in water waste, water loss and water use
    • Many Benefits:
      • Protect river flows and aquifer levels
      • Extend the life of existing supplies
      • Demonstrate responsible use of shared waters

    The ultimate goal of water conservation is not to prevent water use, but to maximize each gallon of water used (WCIP 2010)

  3. Extreme Drought
    • The State Water Plan identifies WC as a priority water quantity management practice (SWP Sec. 7, Policy 3)
    • While WC is not expected to fully meet water needs, it is an effective and efficient practice for all water users (SWP Sec. 8, Policy 1)

    Statewide Water Management Plan

  4. Lake Lanier Ruling
    • Judge Magnuson’s ruling
      • water supply was not originally authorized purpose of Lanier
      • Current supply use exceeds Army Corps authority
      • Restricts future water use (2012)
    • Governor’s Water
    • Contingency
    • Task Force
    • 2010
    • A Big Year!

    Lanier Ruling State Water Plan DROUGHT

  5. 2010 – The Big Year for Conservation in Georgia
    • Water Conservation Implementation Plan
    • Water Stewardship Act of 2010
    • Regional planning for conservation priority
  6. Water Conservation Implementation Plan
    • The WCIP creates a common vision for water conservation
    • Called for through Executive Orders and Statewide Water Management Plan
    • Can be used by organizations, agencies, water user sectors, regional water planning councils and individual water users
  7. WCIP
    • The WCIP is not regulation, but a resource for all Georgia water users.
    • Includes sector specific goals, benchmarks, practices, and implementation actions for:
      • A gricultural Water Use,
      • Electric Generation,
      • Golf Course Water Use,
      • Industrial and Commercial,
      • Landscape,
      • Public water providers, and
      • State agencies.
  8. WCIP
    • The WCIP can be found through :
  9. Water Stewardship Act of 2010
    • WSA was enacted by 2010 General Assembly
    • Reaffirms “the imminent need to create a culture of water conservation in the State of Georgia”
    • Based on recommendations of Water Contingency Task force and supported by details of the WCIP
  10. WSA – Key Provisions
    • 1) Requires state agencies to inventory and enhance policies and programs that encourage conservation.
    • 2) Mandates medium and large public water systems to conduct annual water audits and follow leak abatement BMPs

    Report available online : http://www.gaepd.org – What’s New

  11. Key Provisions of the WSA (cont)
    • 3) Revises state construction standards for buildings constructed after July 2012
      • High efficiency plumbing fixtures (toilets, showerheads and urinals)
      • Sub-metering for multi-unit buildings
      • High efficiency cooling towers for commercial and industrial
    • 4) Modifies authorities to restrict outdoor water use and establishes a schedule for outdoor irrigation
    • 5) Calls for amendments to permitting system for farm water use
  12. Regional Practices to Manage Demand
    • The SWP identifies WC as a priority water quantity management practice
    • Each Council is expected to include demand management in their regional water plan
  13. Regional Planning Guidance
    • Guidance issued to Councils to:
      • Establish a common starting point for considering demand management practices
      • Ensure practices reflect current rules as well as amended rules expected following the SWP and the WSA, and
      • Provide flexibility to Councils to adapt practices to the specifics of each region
  14. Regional Planning – A Tiered Structure
    • Tier ONE practices – mandatory through rules or law (permittees)
    • Tier TWO practices – options addressed through rule (permittees)
    • Tier THREE practices – optional, basic (permittees and others)
    • Tier FOUR practices – beyond basic to help “close the gap” (permittees and others)
  15. Regional Planning – A Tiered Structure (cont)
  16. Regional Conservation Assessment Process
    • Practices are not limited to those in the Worksheets
    • Many Councils have begun evaluation
    • Guidance, not a prescriptive methodology
      • Councils and their Contractors should use tools available
      • Final process, inputs, outputs and results will be documented in a technical memorandum that supplements the regional plans

    Available online http://www.GeorgiaWaterPlanning.org under Technical Guidance/Regional Planning Guidance

  17. 2010 – 2011 – Another Big Year?!
    • Regional Water Planning Councils conservation assessments
    • Metro North GA Water Planning District Updated practices
    • Updated Rules for water conservation
    • Water loss audits and assistance programs
    • Education and Outreach
  18. Metro Atlanta Communities
    • Amend MNGWPD plans to include add’t practices for counties affected by judge’s ruling
    • Add’t practices for 6 counties include:
        • Maintain a water conservation program
          • Dedicated staff
          • Dedicated Funding
        • Expedite the Goal for Reducing Non-Revenue Water
        • Multi-family toilet rebate program
        • Retrofit on Reconnect
        • Install meters with point of use leak detection
        • Require private fire lines to be metered
  19. Metro Atlanta Communities (cont)
    • Additional practices for all 15 counties in District
      • Water Waste Policy or Ordinance
      • WaterSense New Homes
        • Working on Metro Atlanta specific guidance on the outdoor portion.
        • Southface working as a License and Certification Provider.
        • Minimum program – incentivize this program.
        • Possibility to require all new single-family homes meet the WaterSense New Homes Criteria.
  20. Upcoming Amended WC Rules
    • Per the WSA and the SWP, DNR is to amend rules related to conservation and water loss.
    • Amended rules will likely be coordinated and include:
        • Progress toward water efficiency for water withdrawal permits (SWP)
        • Annually report information on water efficiency (SWP)
        • Annually submit water system audits (WSA)
    • Likely to occur in December or early 2011
  21. Water Loss Control and Assistance
    • New water loss control requirements:
      • Minimum standards for improving the efficiency of public water systems, and
      • Implementation of Best practices program:
        • Establishment of an infrastructure leakage index
        • A phased in approach to
          • conduct standardized annual water loss audits according to the IWA water audit method
          • Implement water loss detection programs
    • A technical assistance program to guide water systems water audits and loss progs
  22. Education and Outreach
    • waterSmart is an education program designed to help residents statewide understand how to maintain their landscapes while using less water.


  23. WaterSmart Tips
    • Water efficiently
    • Put the “right” plants in the “right” places
    • Add organic matter
    • Mulch
    • Collect water from alternative sources
    • Know the rules
  24. WaterSmart Tools
    • Brochures and flyers
    • Video public service announcements
    • Homeowner workshop
    • Media Relations/Landscape Challenge
    • Drought in Georgia – a unit for 6 th grade teachers
    • Upcoming “YardStick” for certifying waterSmart landscapes
  25. Thank You! Questions?
      • Alice Miller Keyes
      • Georgia EPD
      • Watershed Protection
      • Branch
      • 912-262-3185
      • [email_address]