WaterEUM — Effective Utility Management

Ten Attributes -

Water Resource Adequacy

Ensures water availability consistent with current and future customer needs through long-term resource supply and demand analysis, conservation, and public education. Explicitly considers its role in water availability and manages operations to provide for long-term aquifer and surface water sustainability and replenishment.

Link to Example Measures 


Decision Support System for Sustainable Water Supply Planning
Long-term water supply planning (50- to 100-year horizon) offers planners the opportunity to consider a wide range of management alternatives and to balance social, economic, financial, and environmental factors in defining an appropriate future course of action. A computerized decision support system (DSS) is essential to aid the planner in evaluating the many options in long-term planning. Such a decision support system has been developed in this research and is included with the report. The DSS allows for evaluation of multiple future water management scenarios which integrate social, financial, economic, and environmental analyses that are requisite for sustainable, long-term water supply planning. 2007 - Softbound - 67 pp. ISBN 158321528X; Catalog No. 91107 $$ Order Now 

Good Until the Last Drop: A Practitioner's Guide to Water Reuse
Only a fortunate few have the luxury of plentiful supplies of unused potable water. Growing populations, especially in semi-arid areas, requires careful use of available fresh water resources and thoughtful consideration for reusing treated wastewater. This book is public utility professionals, to provide an understanding of the important consideration needed to capture the greatest value from the recycled water resource. (96 pages, 2005) $$ Order Now 

Water: a Life Saving Commodity
This 2 hour CD-ROM provides an enlightened discussion on the future of water management and provides relevant case studies. (CDROM, 2003) $$ Order Now 

Water-A Precious Resource in Diminished Supply
Retain and reuse more of your groundwater or surface water supply. Hear from experts on ways to ensure your community safe and dependable water supply and prepare for water emergencies. (CDROM, 2008) $$ Order Now 

Water Conservation Plan Guidelines
These guidelines provide information to water systems planners to help them develop local and state-wide water conservation plans. These voluntary guidelines provide information on water conservation planning, criteria, guidelines and measures, as well as how to incorporate water conservation into infrastructure planning. (August 1998) Free Download Now 

Water Resources Sustainability
This manual includes information for analyzing water resource needs, modeling supply reliability, security, climate change effects, growth impacts, and case studies. (330 pages, 2006). $$ Order Now 


Water supply adequacy
This measure assesses short-term and long-term water supply adequacy and explores related long-term supply considerations.

Example calculations and questions:

  • Short-term water supply adequacy: Period of time for which existing supply sources are adequate. This can be measured as a ratio of projected short-term (e.g., 12-month rolling average) monthly supply to projected short-term monthly demand. Often an index or scale is used, for example, short-term supply relative to severe drought (assigned a "1") to abundant supply conditions (assigned a "5").

  • Long-term water supply adequacy: Projected future annual supply relative to projected future annual demand for at least the next 50 years (some utilities project out as far as 70-80 years). Statistical forecasting and simulation modeling and forecasting techniques are typically used for such long-term projections. Analysis variables in addition to historical record (e.g., historical and year-to-date reservoir elevation data), forecasted precipitation, and flows can include:

    • Future normal, wet, dry, and very dry scenarios (including anticipated climate change-related scenarios);

    • Anticipated population changes;

    • Future service areas;

    • Availability of new water supplies, including recycled water (plus availability of water rights for new supplies, where applicable); and

    • Levels of uncertainty around the above.


Supply and demand management
This metric explores whether the utility has a strategy for proactive supply and demand management in the short and long terms. Strategy needs will depend on community circumstances and priorities, anticipated population growth, future water supply in relation to anticipated demand, demand management and other conservation options, and other local considerations.

Example questions:  

  • Has the utility developed a sourcewater protection plan (yes/no) and is the plan current (yes/no)?

  • Does the utility have a demand management/demand reduction plan (yes/no)? Does this plan track per capita water consumption and, where analytical tools are available to do so, accurately attribute per capita consumption reductions to demand reduction strategies (such as public education and rebates for water-efficient appliances) (yes/no)?

  • Do demand scenarios account for changes in rates (which can change for many reasons) and conservation-oriented, demand management pricing structures (yes/no)?

  • Does the utility have policies in place that address, prior to committing to new service areas, availability of adequate dry year supply (yes/no)? Alternatively, does the utility have a commitment to denying service commitments unless a reliable drought-year supply, with reasonable drought use restrictions, is available to meet the commitment (yes/no)?