City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Total Water Pumpage Per Capita Per DAy

Measure Description
This measure tracks the total number of gallons of water pumped from all the Austin Water (AW) water treatment plants on a per capita per day basis for all uses residential, commercial or industrial. Since total water consumption, and thus overall pumpage, tends to increase as the population grows, Gallons Per Capita Per Day (GPCD) pumpage numbers allow AW to better analyze and compare water use efficiency in different years.
Calculation Method
The total water pumpage GPCD measurement is the total amount of water pumped at AW water treatment plants during a fiscal year, divided by an estimated average service area population and then divided by 365 days.  This calculation method is consistent with state requirements for reporting GPCD.
FY 2014-15 Results
The goal was 125 GPCD and the result was 122 GPCD.  
Assessment of Results
A very wet spring and early summer resulted in low average day use. Following the wet period, we experienced a “flash drought” and higher than normal peak use in August. However, the annual per capita use continued to decline indicating the cumulative effects of one-day-per-week watering restrictions, a steep water rate structure, long-term conservation programs, and continuing efforts to educate customers on the need for conservation.
In 2010, the City Council set a goal to reduce AW’s total water pumpage to 140 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) by 2020 based on a five-year rolling average, and maintaining a five-year rolling average at or below 140 GPCD from that point forward. Stage 2 drought restrictions have been in effect almost continuously since 2011, and include a once-per-week watering limitation, have significantly reduced per capita water use below projections to achieve the goal of 140 GPCD. In fact, Austin’s annual GPCD has been below 140 since FY 2013 and with the close of FY 2015, the five-year rolling average has been at or below 140 for the second year in a row—five years ahead of the target date.  In 2014, the City Council approved changes to Austin’s Water Conservation Plan including a second GPCD goal of 124 GPCD by 2019, if the City remains under Stage 2 drought restrictions. 
Picture of the Water Use Calculator
Next Steps
The City of Austin is committed to strengthening water conservation. While weather conditions fluctuate and influence water demand, long-term per capita water consumption is trending down. To offset lower revenues from reduced consumption, AW has implemented strategies developed in conjunction with the City Council-appointed Joint Financial Subcommittee on the Financial Plan, such as increased fixed fees and a reduced reliance on volumetric fees. This has put AW on a path toward a sustainable business model that can generate necessary operational revenues, even during years of declining water use. Austin Water has also revised water use projections to reflect advances in conservation and the long-term drought, and is working with the Austin Integrated Water Resource Planning Community Task Force to evaluate additional measures to meet the city’s future water needs.
Contact Information
For more information contact Drema Gross, Division Manager, Water Conservation, at (512) 974-2787.