The purpose of this study was to detail examples of existing plan review processes with water agency involvement designed to implement water conservation. Additionally, it was a goal to review agencies with data that could be used to produce quantifiable and substantiated water savings and cost-effectiveness to determine whether the water conservation savings increases through implementation of such a plan review process.
Research found that a more common approach involved adoption of ordinances to implement water conservation in new development. Most water providers contacted for this study noted that passive conservation for indoor water use exists due to long-standing building and plumbing codes; therefore, the majority of information contained in this report is focused on landscape plan reviews and ordinances.
Finding quantifiable water savings data associated with plan reviews or ordinances proved to be a difficult task. Two water providers included in this report are studying the savings associated with their plan review program. Examples from Las Vegas and Arizona have provided information on percentage of water saved compared to typical landscapes that would have been installed prior to adoption of their landscape ordinance. Other examples report observed or perceived savings in the form of reduced runoff or lower peak demand.