A webinar attendee asks for any recommendations regarding integrating changing, mostly declining, per capita demand patterns.
And that is actually dynamic, the declining demand patterns on a per capita basis is something we’re seeing almost nationwide. I won’t say absolutely every community because nothing is ever absolute.
But we are certainly seeing a decline in per capita usage across the entire country. And a couple of dynamics was causing that, one is the water efficient devices that you can’t buy the water hugging toilets anymore unless you’re in the black market somewhere.
One hopes not, but you never know. So, we have people using low flow toilets, people using low flow showerheads, more efficient washing machines, more efficient dishwashers, all that sorts of stuff.
So just in general, not even changing any aspect of your life, you are going to use a lot less water because toilets actually end up being one of the primary drivers of water use.
Yeah and people putting in like gardens that need less water and things like that.
So, people are being much more aware. So, just even without a really serious conservation program, people use less water.
The other dynamic we had is that, you remember back a few years ago, the whole country at one point or another was in drought.
And in my neck of the woods here in New Mexico, that’s the kind of our lives forever. But in other parts of the country, the North East, the South East, the Mid-West, those are very cyclical.
There’ll be a drought that will last a couple of months but then you’re going to get out of it. There’s going to be some rain starting.
But in those drought periods, people start using less water and there’s actually a pretty big one in Atlanta area where the ground there where the reservoir was greatly impacted.
So, people start using less water because they have to conserve this resource and when the cyclical drought ends so to speak, and the rains come again, people don’t go all the way back to where they were.
So maybe reduced by 30% when it’s all over, your back up 20% higher but now we saw the net 10% drop. So, there is definitely, we’re seeing this per capita decline.
I think in the western states it’s a little bit greater decline than the Eastern states but it’s certainly declining and that has huge, huge implications for how you manage your infrastructure going forward.
And that’s one of those assumption questions, going back to this idea of we make assumptions as we plan and if we don’t check those assumptions, we can get ourselves in a lot of trouble.
So, we assume that demand is either going to stay the same or increase on a per capita basis over time.
We might plan we need a bigger reservoir, we need another well, we need to buy water rates whatever it is, and that’s maybe a really bad assumption…
Ross: It costs you huge amount of money.
Heather: Yeah, it costs a lot of money.