Expensive Public Infrastructure
Of course drought grant funding can be used to fund the cost of emergency infrastructure, water purchases and audits of special district water usage; leak reduction programs, etc. For every piece of emergency infrastructure added, there is ongoing costs to maintain that asset for use during the next drought. Maybe you will have to replace that emergency pump before you ever use it again…30 years from now.
End user water conservation and water use efficiency programs produce predictable water use (and sewer discharge) reduction results which last for the long term. You achieve your district’s water conservation goals, your customer saves money, and you now have capacity in your system available, when you need it, to support your local economy!
Customer Friendly Results
Your agency can receive grant funds to help offset the cost of CUSTOMER water conservation efforts and encourage immediate customer action to reduce water use in your community!!
If you are a special district that has parks, soccer or baseball fields, could you use an updated irrigation system or one that integrates with your technology so that you can shut down the irrigation system from your central office or even iphone? Or turn the irrigation system off for troubleshooting via laptop when you receive a text that the new drip system you installed has likely blown apart? Money saving, efficient, flexible, community friendly solutions, and paid for with state grants.
How would it feel when you are answering the district phone or meeting a water customer in the supermarket, and they complain to you about having to conserve water and your adoption of fines and penalty fees; and you can answer “how about if you upgrade your irrigation system to a Smart Controller and submit the invoice to us, and we will reimburse you up to 50% of the cost?” or perhaps “install a greywater or rainwater system to keep your garden alive and we will cover part of the cost of its installation and you will never have to buy garden water again?” Even better yet: “our District will pay YOU to remove your lawn, and you will save hundreds of dollars per month in irrigation costs?”
All of these responses are possible if you develop and deliver a proactive approach to water conservation. Although there are many great program models out there to copy, the program you develop and fund must be based programs that will be effective in your area, are needed by your customers, and take into consideration your district’s long term water supply and needs.
As public agencies, we are in tune with state and federal grants and their use to fund public infrastructure projects. We are just not used to them being available to pay for improvements on our customer’s property. Water Conservation grants are different; and they help your customers meet water conservation mandates and save our state’s most precious natural resource…Water!