2013 Technical Session 15 - Water Conservation and Sustainability

Tuesday, April 23, 8:00 - 11:40 am, Kootenay Room

Moderator: Stephen Horsman, AECOM

15.1 Capture, Reduce and Reuse- Integrated Master Planning a New Community

15.2 City of Surrey's High Water User Campaign

15.3 Habits and Attitudes of Different Water Use Market Segments: Results of a City of Vancouver Market Research Study

15.4 Making Water Work in the Okanagan

15.5 Who's the Hero: How to Identify Which Conservation Methods Work?

15.6 Roundtable Discussion


Water Conservation and Sustainability | 8:00 am - 8:30 am
15.1 Capture, Reduce, and Reuse - Integrated Master Planning a New Community
Presenter: Glen Shkurhan, P.Eng., Urban Systems Ltd., Vancouver, BC

"Harmony"; a 700 hectare Master Planned mixed use community in Rocky View County, Alberta, that dares to be different. What will be particularly unique and innovative about Harmony is the integration of water system components and the respectful use and distribution of water. What is also unique is the desire to position the community to adapt to future regulatory changes and a desired acceptance for broader use of reclaimed water. Water conservation, reuse, protecting natural hydrologic functions, and valuing rainwater runoff as a resource are important aspects of the strategy. With that said, innovative approaches increase functional complexity and variability. A systematic, adaptive management approach will meet fundamental objectives while managing expectations and risk. The Integrated Water Systems Master Plan lays the technical foundation on which the design of Harmony will be built. Each sub-system (potable water, wastewater, rainwater, reclaimed / raw water irrigation) has direct interaction and influence one another, thereby requiring them to be looked at in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. This presentation will describe sustainability objectives, the components and interactions between the various water sub-systems, the analysis and performance variables, and the adaptive management approach.

Presentation PDF

Water Conservation and Sustainability | 8:35 am - 9:05 am
15.2 City of Surrey's High Water User Campaign
Presenter: Miriam Marshall, R.P. Bio., LEED AP, Dillon Consulting Limited, Richmond, BC
Additional Contributors: KK Li, P.Eng., City of Surrey, Surrey, BC; Sig Bernat, City of Surrey, Surrey, BC

Since 2008, the City of Surrey has delivered a High Water User Campaign (Campaign) geared at promoting a behavioural change towards reducing water consumption in single family dwellings. The focus of the Campaign was on households with annual water consumption in excess of 900m3, which translates to the cost of water per household exceeding $675 annually. The goals of the Campaign were to help these households save both water and costs, and to develop long lasting habits resulting in further reductions in water consumption. The Campaign utilized community-based social marketing (CBSM) strategies, along with personalized public interactions where trained student teams set out to visit high water consuming homes to educate and provide helpful tips tailored to their specific water reduction opportunities. The households also received useful tools such as rain gauges, shower timers, toilet leak detection tablets and tailored information to further support their understanding of how they can reduce their water consumption. Using 2007 as a base year, an analysis of households visited in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Campaigns was compared to the current annual household water usage to identify if behavioral changes in water consumption and cost savings occurred. The results indicate that the Campaign has been successful in changing both short-term and long-term behaviour within the targeted high water user population. At an annual Campaign cost of approximately $63,000 to the City of Surrey, the cumulative savings to Surrey households and the total water conserved, outweigh the annual Campaign cost.

Presentation PDF

Water Conservation and Sustainability | 9:10 am - 9:40 am
15.3 Habits and Attitudes of Different Water Use Market Segments: Results of a City of Vancouver Market Research Study
Presenter: Jennifer Bailey, City of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC
Additional Contributors: Kirk Stinchcombe, MBA, MES, Econnics Eco Efficiency, Victoria, BC; Dave Kains, CMRP, Metroline Research Group, Kitchener, ON

Recent years have seen a trend towards growing segmentation of residential water users into distinct groups, creating challenges for optimal delivery of demand management programs. Some people continue to irrigate their lawns and gardens lavishly; others rarely turn on the hose. Rationalized by a rainy climate, some people are bewildered by the notion of water conservation; others actively embrace efficient use for a myriad of reasons. In 2012, the City of Vancouver grappled with the challenges inherent in diverse belief systems and behaviour motivations through an outdoor water use project. Insight was gained through interviews with 600 residents through a random telephone survey, supplemented by focus groups with different types of water users in different age groups. As well, a pilot study was conducted involving delivery of garden workshops to 51 homeowners and their invited guests. The results are helping the City understand how different market segments think about and use water as well as the barriers that prevent water wasters from engaging in more sustainable behaviour.

Presentation PDF

Water Conservation and Sustainability | 10:00 am - 10:30 am
15.4 Making Water Work in the Okanagan
Presenter: Corinne Jackson, B.A. Political Science, Journalism Certificate with 10 years experience, 10 years in Communications, Okanagan Basin Water Board, Kelowna, BC

As one of the most water-limited regions in Canada, the Okanagan set out to develop a valley-wide conservation campaign aimed at the second largest use of its water after agriculture – residential outdoor use. MAKE WATER WORK (MWW) is an effort led by the Okanagan Basin Water Board and its Okanagan WaterWise program, developed in partnership with local governments throughout the valley.  The campaign began with a three-month pilot in 2011 in the North Okanagan and included radio and print ads, posters and a special MWW webpage. In 2012, this effort was expanded with all 15 Okanagan local governments at the table working to get the messaging just right, a full launch of the campaign in eight of these communities and smaller launches in some of the other jurisdictions. Make Water Work 2012 ran May to October and included billboards from Armstrong to Osoyoos, radio ads and a radio/online contest heard and seen throughout the valley, newspaper ads spanning each part of the valley, Facebook ads, posters in almost all 15 of the communities and an expanded MWW website. The cost to local government partners to have their name and logo included in ads was between $1,000 and $3,000. In turn, with OkWaterWise matching funds and providing for development of materials, plus finding corporate partners, we were able to leverage $90,400 in advertising, plus $2,000 in prizing. In-kind contributions from media and other corporate partners was worth more than $56,000. The value of providing communities with a campaign and messages echoed (and reinforced) throughout the valley, was priceless. Focus group testing by McAllister Opinion Research in July indicates we have a winning campaign.

Presentation PDF

Water Conservation and Sustainability | 10:35 am - 11:05 am
15.5 Who’s the Hero: How to Identify Which Conservation Methods Work?
Presenter: Neal Klassen, M.A., Environmental Education and Communication, City of Kelowna, Kelowna, BC

In 2007 The City of Kelowna Water Utility implemented a seven-point Water Sustainability Action Plan that called for a fifteen percent reduction in water use by 2012. Those points were:
1. Require, implement and track demand side management program;
2. Enhance customer education through effective social marketing programs;
3. Link water conservation to development approval;
4. Ensure effective full cost pricing with volume based price structure;
5. Water system leakage that results in water loss;
6. Promote and ensure the use of water efficient fixture;
7. Explore and develop water reuse opportunities.
By the end of 2012, the fifteen percent reduction was successfully achieved; however, when reductions in water use occur, it can be difficult to identify which specific actions resulted in the savings. This paper examines which of the above seven points were actually implemented and which ones had the greatest impact on water consumption. In 2013 the City of Kelowna implemented a new five-year Water Sustainability Action Plan. We will look at this plan and see how the inclusion of key performance indicators should help us quantify the results of the various components.

Presentation PDF

Water Conservation and Sustainability | 11:10 am - 11:40 am
15.6 Roundtable Discussion

All five session presenters will discuss topics relevant to water conservation in a roundtable style.

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