Research & Evaluation Committee Notes 2/13/19

Published: February 20th, 2019 | |

Research Committee Kick-off Meeting Notes (2/13/2019)

AWE Research Committee (Bill Christiansen)

Seek out funding partners and grants

Track related research and often have updates of on-going research

meet by webinar/conf. calls and then in-person at WSI. If anyone on the call wants to be involved in next meeting is March 20th.

They maintain a project list – if a committee member has a research need they can add it. List items include different phases of development (from an idea that just gets put out there to a full blown proposal and once it’s developed they start to actively seek funding.

E-mail Bill directly to get access to the list

Each year they come up with a workplan. Committee develops and approves.

Special Notes as they relate to CalWEP interest:

  • An Evaluation Measurement & Verification workgroup has been established.
  • Looking into research database. On the docket for 2019 they are to survey the AWE membership at large to ID priorities for research.



Matt – Survey was mentioned at your last meeting. Is it still in development?

Response: Yes. Held off because CalWEP might also be sending out survey. They can explore that. AWE also has another survey on drought restrictions that might be going out soon. Intentionally spacing those surveys out to avoid survey fatigue


Typology (Mike Hollis)

Scheme for categorizing research literature and issues – wants to hear from committee if they are useful or should be changed. Includes info from CalWEP Listening Tour and Strategic Plan

The basic groups are:

  • Methodology and Measurement – i.e. how we go about measuring savings from devices
  • Behavioral – these are underexplored. It relates to amount of incentive required to get people to participate
  • Programs – are more holistic, very interested in working with Program Committee. Attempt to take methodological/measurements/behavioral and integrate with programs
  • Secondary Effects (didn’t seem to fit with other topics)
  • Technology – Characteristic and Effects of devices

Dissemination – We’ve discussed creating a forum for discussing water efficiency related research topics, as well as an inventory of literature, and to be kind of a technical resource.

Do people have thoughts? Any extensions of it?

John Koeller – several of these fit in with EM&V that Bill spoke on, so we should try to connect these. Under Secondary Effects – “health and safety” has become dominant. Has to do with flow, supply and residual disinfection of water and may also have to do with hot water delivery

Luke (EBMUD) is Behavior a subset of programs?

Response: Mike Hollis, this is a bit more general

Luke (EBMUD) – It’s well organized – should explore potential to sync with CalWEP Toolbox

Michelle: will we evaluate and rank these? What are the next steps?

Response, Mike: This is organized based on indicated priorities – this wasn’t intended to be a list of research topics

Matt: AWE survey will lay framework of what is salient and industry specific


Listening Tour (Tia):

The timeline from when compliance is fully adopted – we want to make sure tools are lined up when framework provisions kick-in

**Matt: CalWEP can send the M3 proposal around with notes


AWE Landscape Transformation Released:

Research Protocols and Methodologies (Mike Hollis)

Idea for a possible sub-committee (or area of emphasis).

There are a couple of applications. As we develop methods they might fit into a protocol, the second possibility is it could be used to evaluate proposals. Ex. How wide do you sample? What sorts of methods are used?  It’s something that most of the issues the committee ends up dealing with. They could be suggested approaches.

Advantage is it would standardize research. So having reference methodology would help things be more compatible. Improve the quality of work that gets done by consultants – those things get a bit scattered and sometimes don’t work as well as they should.

Guidelines or practice principles could help with writing proposals or evaluating bids that you receive. Personally, would like to see it as an area of emphasis.

Would you find it useful to have available?

Luke: I could see use in having a good understanding or good research methodologies. I could see the committee offer guidance or outline research work to be done. Committee could provide guidance early on – we could then aggregate all of that information. Not sure at this point in time what this committees product is?

Matt: Qualitative is a huge gap – I think this is a good piece, whether we do it or not, it needs to be done.

John Koeller – your proposal is absolutely necessary. Ex. Auditor for MWD found work was not being done to validate a program. Ex. Colleague who is a professor noted after WSI how horrible the research was, and questioned how one could draw conclusions when the research was quite flawed.  So I think the time is right to up the game a bit.

**Mike: Volunteered to rough out an example to give people a better idea

Richard: Agrees this proposal is well overdue. Might be considered research best practice. When we consider LTF, we’re going to want to know how data is going to be used and to set the protocol.

Bill C.: This all sounds important and interesting and might align with EM&V committee. Group is struggling with what the product would be.

Luke: Is this a task force or should we reach out ad-hoc? Hope enough interest to make it a task force.

**Matt: We’ll put together a discussion forum


Survey on CA Salient Research (Matt)

What kind of research is happening across the state?

Chrissy working with MWDOC & _________ : leak detection research – explore methods for leak savings documentation that fall into best practices.

Mike H.: Series of water savings from turf replacement programs. Investigating the multiplier effect, which has a direct effect on cost effectiveness. Want to drepeat the analysis every two years  to see how things are trending

William Granger – When is you study wrapping up. Please send us a copy

Robyn N: Wants to see report as well

Luke: EBMUD is continuing to work on AMI research – study with PG&E and UC Davis (AMI w/ single family homes with customer portal – just starting). Additionally, as these research topic papers are being created it would be good to funnel into CalWEP Toolbox (see link on CalWEP Homepage) There could be trainings and logins to committee members.

Michelle Maddaus – We are working on AMI study: pre- and post- drought and what happened. What is the current thinking on indoor  and outdoor work? What are the opportunities for savings? There are a lot of studies in progress. As we finish our work we should have a place to put them, like the Toolbox, as Luke suggested

Matt: Maybe we could use Mikes Typology to categorize studies. Behavior economist group to see what type of messaging motivated folks to take action. Capital and energy intensive program.  Looking at secondary effects and whether the types of messaging had any effect on water reductions and what was the lag time before seeing savings

Rachel Waite– research from converting from spray to drip. What is the impact of savings for sites installing two irrigation measures (study is done). It was part of a grant compliance evaluation: “multiple device study”

William – How can we get a copy?

*Lots of interest for the report

[email protected]

**Tia will send out and post on toolbox

Richard Harris: Has a question on process: Assuming there will be some sort of integrated survey (CalWEP members and AWE) Could we use typology that Mike shared and then folks could populate per category?


Research Needs:

William Granger – I would love to see something that looks at rainbarrels (San Antonio) wondering if anyone in CA has done research. Did they lead to participation in other programs?

Response (Mike): MWD did survey of rainbarrel – why folks used them. One of the issues, it’s a storage issue.

Lisa: LA Bureau of Sanitation conducted a rainbarrel pilot 10 years ago and they surveyed participants. Data could be available.

Richard: leak detection, metering devices and dashboards (spring board off o fwhat was shared at WSI) Collecting information from others that are doing the work. Along those lines, Prop 1 solicitation package is coming out soon and all of us will be looking at IRWM, so that could be another area to dialogue to see what projects are getting put into a proposal.

William – AMI methodology for how to categorize water savings related to leaks

[need name] IRWD – We are planning to run a pilot study to address broken pipes. Developing method

Matt: Flow sensor for large landscape customers are they similar to AMI

Luke: DWR Indoor/Outdoor standards and 8 variances from primer (due dates established)

Matt: Good topics to add to survey and how we want to frame questions to the members and look for opportunity topics that are preferred by our stakeholders.


Merging AWE/CalWEP Research Committees

Effort to make sure we’re not overlapping and stretching resources. Could also help reach other funding opportunities

This isn’t going to be a quick merger

We’ll establish our needs first – to make sure we won’t lose out on CA Specific work we’re doing.


Michelle – can you let us know how large the AWE group is or their internal functioning. That way we can offer more feedback

Luke: Need a sense of what their current research agenda is?

**Tia: we can put together a one-page summary (primer), they might also want same info about us.

Matt: Can help put that together


Next Meeting

Early April (no opposition)


Related Publications

The Indoor Residential Standard Cut Sheet (Updated)

The Commercial, Industrial, Institutional Dedicated Irrigation Meter (CII-DIM) Standard

The Outdoor Residential Standard Cut Sheet (Updated)

Design Considerations for a Residential Leak Detection & Repair Certification Training

Design Considerations for Residential Leak Detection & Repair Certification Training (Executive Summary)

Media Tips for Water Conservation Staff (2022)

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