1. A California WUE Standards Compliance Tool (CalWEP Tool) and
2. An updated California-specific version of the AWE Water Conservation Tracking Tool (AWE Tool)
The first tool would be used to determine compliance with new State Urban Water Use Standards. The second would be used to attain or ensure compliance through planned design of intentional WUE programs. Members of CalWEP and AWE would have access to these planning (AWE tool) and California WUE Standards compliance (CalWEP tool) tools. The CalWEP tool would necessarily be a work in progress as the Standards are being finalized. The AWE Water Conservation Tracking Tool is an Excel based planning model that water suppliers can use to evaluate the water savings, costs, and benefits of conservation (WUE) programs. Using information entered into the Tracking Tool from a utility’s system, it provides a standardized methodology for water savings and benefit cost accounting, and includes a library of pre-defined conservation activities from which users can build conservation programs.
The Tracking Tool is used widely across the nation. Many utilities in California rely on it for conservation planning. Different versions of the Tracking Tool have been developed for unique state regulatory environments. For example, one version is specific to the plumbing codes, appliance standards, and landscape requirements in California. However, California is currently in the process of making significant changes to these regulations. Helping water utilities plan for compliance with these regulatory changes is one of the main purposes of the Tracking Tool. This proposal describes the pending changes to California urban water conservation regulations and proposes modifications to the Tracking Tool to help California urban water suppliers plan their water conservation programs to comply with the new state requirements. The proposal sets out a modular approach that separates (1) California state compliance from (2) the task of conservation program planning to ensure compliance. This modular approach will allow urban water suppliers to use alternative approaches to compliance determination or conservation planning at their choice. The modular approach would also allow use of the California-specific tools for cross-checking and validation of alternative approaches.