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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA experts urge water conservation

    UA scientists and national water experts will rely on water programs and marketing tactics to change consumers’ behaviors regarding water conservation.

    Under the mantra “”All the water that will ever be is right now,”” a panel of five experts highlighted different aspects of water conservation strategies in the Intelligent Use of Water Summit III at the UA yesterday.

    Ronald Stoltz, director of the UA School of Landscape Architecture and a panelist, highlighted the

    “”A lot of people don’t think about it, but you pay more for your cell phones and your cable TV than you do for water.””

    – Robert Glennon,

    law professor and panel moderator

    university’s latest water-conservation research project, which will be a part of the new College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture building.

    The CALA building, currently under construction, will be centralized around a tiered water-conservation garden.

    “”Engineers estimated an 87 percent reduction of potable water use for the garden, but we are aiming for 100 percent,”” Stoltz said.

    The garden will have streams that flow through terraces that will recreate five different Arizona ecosystems.

    The panelists said implementing new programs is only one component of the solution and also stressed the importance of responsibility and education.

    “”No matter how much we do for conservation, we need to think about re-allocating water,”” said Robert Glennon, a law professor who was the panel moderator.

    Thirty-six states will suffer significant water shortages by 2013, according to research conducted by the Government Accountability Office.

    Glennon said some people save water out of a sense of ethics, but for the people who do not, the U.S. needs to force water conservation in the marketplace.

    This could be done either by “”command and control”” (i.e., higher rates for those who use more water) or through marketing water-saving technology.

    “”A lot of people don’t think about it, but you pay more for your cell phones and your cable TV than you do for water,”” said Glennon.

    Glennon, who also serves as water policy adviser to Pima County, referred to the current situation with well drilling in Arizona as “”a classic example of the tragedy of the commons,”” comparing the water table to a milkshake with everyone sticking in a straw to get their share.

    Other water experts also had programs planned.

    The Water Education for Teachers program produces guides that educate teachers in all aspects of hydrology, providing them with tools to help students manage water wisely.

    “”We will be integrating our program with the No Child Left Behind Act, to include wise use of water into class content,”” said Kerry Schwartz, director of the Arizona WET program.

    Joanna Kind, an environmental scientist with the Eastern Research Group Inc., is the main consultant for the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, which will soon be nationally implemented.

    “”The WaterSense program will transform the marketplace to where (water-conscious) practices become commonplace,”” Kind said.

    Products with a WaterSense label, such as plumbing equipment and bathroom fixtures, will be 20 percent more efficient and perform as well or better than counterparts, said Kind.

    The program will gain more momentum this fall with the coordination of promotional sponsors, manufacturers, retailers and developers.

    Faulty parts causing leakage account for nearly 14 percent of a household’s 400-gallon daily average, according to the American Water Works Association Research Foundation.

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