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  • Wednesday, February 04, 2015 2:14 PM | Natalie Stevens (Administrator)

    By Morgan Shimabuku, Center for ReSource Conservation

    Beginning in the fall of 2013 the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) began laying the foundation for a commercial water assessment program. Through a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board and partnerships with a local expert consultant Water DM and six Front Range utilities, CRC created a commercial water assessment program to help utilities reach businesses and to help businesses save water.

    The program focuses on the two most common areas of water use across the commercial sector: kitchen and restroom use. During the assessment the water technician measures flow rates, notes and reports any leaky faucets, showerheads or toilets, and identifies appliance models that use water. All of the data is gathered through an Excelbased CII Assessment Tool, created by The Brendle Group and the City of Boulder, with support from Colorado WaterWise. The Tool provides the back-end calculations for potential water and cost savings. It calculates the benefits of switching out inefficient fixtures with WaterSense standard fixtures, cost savings estimates (both for water and energy savings if the fixture uses hot water), and pay-back periods for all potential upgrades. The Tool allows for the input of unique utility rates and rebates in order to provide each business with a customized assessment of their potential for water savings improvements.

    During the first year of the program CRC performed 25 assessments at 9 different types of businesses. From the first 22 assessments alone, CRC identified more than 9 million gallons of potential water savings and more than $77,000 in cost savings for the businesses through simple fixture upgrades (see table). From this list of fixtures aerators, showerheads, tank toilets and urinals were found to offer the highest potential for water and cost savings. This bodes well for water efficiency improvements within the commercial sector, as these products are not only readily available, but also relatively inexpensive. And with the recent passage of Senate Bill 14-103 in the Colorado state legislature, stores and suppliers will soon only be carrying WaterSense versions of these fixtures.

    Not all businesses will decide to follow through with these upgrades immediately, but this kind of information is still useful to both the business and the utility. The business can use the information to plan for and implement fixture upgrades that make the most economic sense, while the utility can also plan for conservation programs that offer their businesses the most pertinent and impactful options through programs such as rebates or direct-installs.

    While the commercial assessment program is still adapting to the demand and the needs of different water utilities and Colorado businesses, the findings from this initial stage in the program suggest that there are significant conservation opportunities within the commercial sector. A commercial assessment program is therefore a valuable offering within a well-rounded portfolio of water conservation programs.

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter. 

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:22 PM | Natalie Stevens (Administrator)

    By Laura Wing, City of Thornton

    Colorado WaterWise is proud to announce the Colorado Water – Live Like you Love It Toolkit!  The Colorado Water – Live Like You Love It Toolkit is designed to turn water into gold…at least as precious as gold in the eyes of Coloradans. Extensive research conducted by CWCB and other water interests in the state has shown that Coloradans, particularly younger and minority audiences, do not have a good grasp of basic water facts. Another challenge is educating an increasing number of newcomers to Colorado on the fact that water here is scarce and is becoming the new “gold” of our economy.

    Recognizing that Colorado is one of the few western states without a statewide, unified, water message platform, Colorado WaterWise created the first phase of a Communication Toolkit to arm its members with compelling messaging and attractive packaging of those messages to bolster our state’s water communications efforts. The ultimate goal of the Toolkit is to make an emotional connection between Coloradans and the water they need to sustain the quality of their lives.

    Colorado WaterWise solicited input from stakeholders from around the State to develop the first phase of the Toolkit, which includes a program name, slogan and logo, a general fact sheet, an animated video, print/digital ad, Facebook page, and three Colorado “Fourteener” fact sheets that provide hands-on conservation and water quality tips. The materials encourage the audience to Conserve (reduce water use), Care (protect water quality) and Commit (learn more and make your voice heard).

    Colorado WaterWise is providing the Toolkit to its members and would like to see the materials used by water professionals and educators to complement their own educational materials. Co-branding is encouraged to build long-lasting message recognition. Or, if an organization is launching a new water awareness program, the logo and materials are a great way to get it started. The idea is to share it with as many people as possible and work with partners to move into the next phase which includes more materials, such as a website, topic specific infographics, social media, and more.

    To join the movement and Live Like You Love It, Like Love Colorado Water on Facebook or follow it on Twitter at @LoveCOWater.

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter. 

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 9:54 AM | Natalie Stevens (Administrator)

    Ray Tschillard, Poudre Learning Center

    Each fall area high school students, interested in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the land they live, on join together for the Caring for our Watersheds™ program challenge to think about their local Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson River watersheds and how they can protect these most essential environmental assets. The students research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern, and develop a potential solution.

    Caring for our Watersheds- COLORADO is made possible locally with support from Agrium Advanced Technologies, Poudre Learning Center, Central Colorado Water Conservancy District and the City of Greeley Water & Sewer Department. Through the years students have provided viable answers to the question— “What can you do to improve your watershed?” It is apparent by their efforts how much future generations care about watersheds, their world and their place in it.

    Each year around 200 students from high schools in Greeley, Fort Collins, Eaton, Johnstown, Loveland and Berthoud entered the contest, writing 1,000 word essays explaining their research on the Cache la Poudre or the Big Thompson watersheds, describing the environmental issues and their proposed solutions, and outlining implementation budgets for their ideas. Students compete for $6,000 in cash awards and participating schools are eligible for $8,000 in cash awards. In addition, Agrium has made $10,000 available to help students implement their ideas this spring. The creativity this contest affords students is beneficial for our environment and the communities we serve. Anytime we can engage and involve our younger generation in environmental conversation it benefits us all. They are actively seeking ways to make our communities sustainable for upcoming generations and we are here to help them.

    One of the past winners was Ivonne Morales, presently a University of Colorado Environmental Studies major and former Greeley Central student. Ivonnes’s proposal was the 2013 CFW 2nd place finisher. Ivonne’s idea was selected to be implemented internationally at all twelve Caring for our Watershed™ sites across the globe!

    Brother and sister team Danny and Manny Araujo were the top winners in the 2014 contest. Their project bought reusable grocery bags and did educational presentations about plastic bags to their students, faculty, parents and community.

    The success of CFW relies on teachers, students and community volunteers. If you would like to be involved please visit www.CaringForOurWatersheds.com.

    For more articles like this, subscribe to the Colorado WaterWise Newsletter.
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2:38 PM | Laura Wing (Administrator)

    Colorado WaterWise will be at the 2015 Watershed Summit on January 21, Colorado Water Congress January 28-30 and the Poudre River Forum on January 31, 2015. Stop by our table to say hi.

  • Wednesday, November 12, 2014 9:34 AM | Natalie Stevens (Administrator)

    Colorado WaterWise is pleased to offer a new benefit to our current and future members! Not a member? Read on to find out how you can get involved.

    At the Water Conservation Summit on October 24, Colorado WaterWise launched an educational toolkit to raise awareness about the value of water in Colorado. Colorado Water: Live Like You Love It provides communication tools and resources for water stakeholders to help communicate the importance of water, focusing on conserving water, caring about water quality and committing to learn about this critical resource.

    Six Colorado WaterWise members sponsored the development of the toolkit including Loveland Water and Power, The City of Greeley Water Conservation Program, Colorado Springs Utilities, Northern Water, One World One Water Center, City of Fountain and Western Resource Advocates.  Colorado WaterWise initiated the toolkit when research revealed the need to educate the public, particularly young adults about how we get our water, the scarcity of the resource and the importance to care for water quality.   

    As a headwaters state, Colorado water is the topic of great discussion as 18 states plus Colorado depend on it. With the Colorado population alone expected to double by 2050, the need to Live Like You Love It is more important than ever.  By utilizing the professionally created tools available in the toolkit, water organizations and other interested stakeholders can easily spread the word about protecting this finite resource, doing our part to conserve and committing to learning about water issues. The toolkit includes a video, fact sheets, graphics, tips and a communication plan to help Colorado to Live Like You Love ItColorado WaterWise members at the $300 level and up can take advantage of this benefit. Take a look at the complete list of toolkit materials available for download here.

    “With the state of Colorado embarking upon the creation of its first water plan, we believe one of the findings will undoubtedly be that there is a need for more education in our state about the value of our water,” said Alyssa Quinn, the Colorado WaterWise committee chair.  “This toolkit provides stakeholders with materials and messaging to educate the public, particularly the millennial age group, about the value of water.  Customers in that age group are going to be the generation making key and sometimes tough decisions about our water.  They need to be informed.”

    To join the movement and Live Like You Love It, “Like” us on Facebook at Love Colorado Water or follow us on Twitter @LoveCOWater.  Members can go to the Colorado Water Toolkit Materials page and log in to download the materials, or become a member or sponsor to take advantage of this and other Colorado WaterWise tools and resources.

    Thank you for your continued support!

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