How Do Water Utilities Ensure Adequate Drinking Water Supplies?

Water utilities forecast water source availability, growth in population, and water demand to ensure adequate future water supplies during normal conditions and periods of drought. When water shortages are predicted or experienced, water utilities have many options for conserving water. Temporary cutbacks or permanent operating adjustments can help conserve water.

Permanent conservation measures may include:

Subsidizing use of water-efficient faucets, toilets, and showerheads

Public education and voluntary use reduction

Billing practices that impose higher rates for higher amounts of water use

Building codes that require water-efficient fixtures or appliances

Leak detection surveys and meter testing, repair, and replacement

Reduction in use and increase in recycling of industrial water.

Temporary cutbacks may include:

Reduction of system-wide operating pressure

Water use bans, restrictions, and rationing