Total Pumpage per Capita per Day
This measure tracks gallons of water pumped from all Austin Water (AW) water treatment plants on a per capita per day basis for all uses (residential, commercial, and 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.
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 and should not be used to compare Austin with other cities, whose water needs and customer base differ, while it is appropriate for measuring the impact of Austin's conservation efforts over time.
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16, the goal was 123 GPCD, and the result was 122 GPCD.
Assessment of Results
Austin’s conservation program takes a multi-faceted approach to reducing water use: sharply tiered water rates, a Water Conservation Code that limits discretionary water use, customer education to promote conservation, and rebates/incentives to encourage water-efficient upgrades. In 2010, the Austin City Council adopted the following goals for AW’s total water pumpage:
· Reach a maximum five-year rolling average of 140 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) by 2020, and
· Maintain that five-year rolling average at or below 140 GPCD into the future.
Thanks to conservation efforts and customer participation in conservation programs, AW remains on track to meet or exceed these goals. Measures used to address the historic drought also helped to further lower pumpage below projections. Due to the drought, AW remained in Stage 2 Water Restrictions, which limited irrigation to once a week, for much of the past five years. As the drought eased, Austin looked to maintain the water savings gained from the Stage 2 restrictions. The current Conservation Stage restrictions, enacted in May 2016, permanently restrict automatic irrigation to once per week and hose-end irrigation to twice a week. Water use has remained steady in FY 2015-16, allowing AW to maintain annual pumpage at 122 GPCD. The five-year rolling average is currently 137 GPCD, for the third year in a row; at or below the mandated 140 GPCD maximum.
Austin is committed to continuing to strengthen its water conservation efforts. Even with fluctuating weather conditions influencing water demand, long-term per capita water consumption has generally trended down. AW continues to evaluate fee structures to offset lowered revenues resulting from reduced consumption and to revise its water use projections to reflect advances in conservation and long-term drought impacts. In conjunction with the Water Forward Task Force, AW is actively engaged in developing an Integrated Water Resource Plan that includes strategies to meet Austin’s water needs for the next 100 years.
For more information contact Drema Gross, Division Manager, Water Conservation, at (512) 974-2787.