Despite 500 Percent Population Increase, Water Use Stays Same With ‘Demand Management’

Vista, CA


The KLCC Park (as seen towards the southeast f...



 According to Klaus Reichardt, CEO of Waterless Company and a frequent author of articles on water conservation issues, when it comes to water — and many other environmental issues — demand management refers to “policies that help control consumer demand without specifically asking consumers to reduce water consumption.”


“One of the best examples of an effective water demand management strategy can be found in the state of Arizona,” says Reichardt.  “New reports indicate that while the population has increased nearly 500 percent since 1957, the state’s overall water use has remained about the same.”*


 Demand management, which is a strategy being adopted in more and more states and communities, is based on three principles:


  • Public awareness: While not specifically asking people to conserve water, an understanding as to why water must be used more efficiently is necessary
  • Regulatory: Requiring the use of low flow and no water fixtures; for instance, waterless urinals are now required in many Arizona state buildings
  • Pricing: Adjusting the costs of water to reflect the true costs of acquiring, treating, and delivering it.


“For advocates of more responsible water use, the underpricing of water in many parts of the country has actually worked against us,” explains Reichardt.  “However, just as increasing energy costs have resulted in new technologies that use energy more efficiently, the same is evolving for water, which is necessary for us to thrive in the 21st century.”






* Source: Water Costs Will Rise, But So Will Conservation,, a Gannett publication, October 30, 2013. 

NOTE: While different studies come to different conclusions, all indicate that Arizona is using less water per capita today than it was 20 years ago and water use in key metropolitan areas of the state have actually declined even with the significant population increases.






Addressing water management to prepare for times of crisis By Klaus Reichardt

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Too much water typically occurs as a result of a flood or a major weather event and often happens quickly, within hours. The problem of too little water typically develops over time, possibly years, before it is considered an actual emergency that requires immediate action

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Are Water Labels Insight?

In the next few years, if trends continue, we are likely to see more labels and more labeling information on a variety of products we use every day. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced it is going to require menu labeling at restaurants, specifically fast food facilities. Aware that this trend is in the cards, some fast food restaurants have already started posting labels listing calories and other information in their locations.


Another type of label garnering increased attention is carbon labels. One such program developed by an organization in England indicates the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted by a product during its entire lifecycle. It is calculated by determining such things as the raw materials used to make the product, how it is transported, how and where the product is built, and how it is packaged.


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Increase Water Efficiency by Tracking Water Usage

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...


In many areas of the United States, water is not only in short supply, but becoming a chronic problem. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 states have experienced or can anticipate some type of local, regional, or even statewide water shortage this year and into at least the first half of next year. Water issues and shortages are already having a significant impact on both consumers and commercial facilities such as office buildings.


First and foremost, water is getting more and more expensive. In Chicago and neighboring communities that depend on the city for their water supply, a 25 percent rate increase took effect January 1, 2012. The rate went up again in 2013 by 15 percent, and will increase again in 2014. That’s a 55 percent rate increase over a three-year period. Even though American municipalities have traditionally underpriced water, a 55 percent rate increase in such a short amount of time is an indication that a serious problem exists—with no resolution in sight.


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