Speakers: Candice Rupprecht, Water Conservation Specialist, Tucson Water; Mary Allen, P.E., Pima County Wastewater Reclamation
“Why do you ask me to conserve water and then raise my rates?” This question is frequently asked by water customers, often without a clear answer from utilities except to say that water rates would be higher today without conservation. This presentation will share the findings of the Tucson Avoided Cost Analysis done by WaterDM in partnership with the Alliance for Water Efficiency, Tucson Water, and Pima County Regional Wastewater. The cost analysis explored the impacts of water conservation and efficiency on today’s water rates.
The Tucson Avoided Cost Analysis provides a rigorous examination of the overall impact of water efficiency on water and wastewater rates and clearly and convincingly debunks the myth that conservation drives up water rates. Water and wastewater rates in Tucson are at least 17% lower today than they would need to be had Tucsonans not implemented various water conservation and efficiency actions. Tucson, like many other communities, would be facing a much different situation today if per capita water demand had not been curtailed, dropping over 30% while population increased by nearly 70%.