This article (1) discusses existing efforts to measure water conservation policies (WCPs) in the United States (U.S.); (2) suggests general methodological guidelines for creating robust water conservation indices (WCIs); (3) presents a comprehensive template for coding WCPs; (4) introduces a summary index, the Vanderbilt Water Conservation Index (VWCI), which is derived from 79 WCP observations for 197 cities for the year 2015; and (5) compares the VWCI to WCP data extracted from the 2010 American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water and Wastewater Rates survey. Existing approaches to measuring urban WCPs in U.S. cities are limited because they consider only a portion of WCPs or they are restricted geographically. The VWCI consists of a more comprehensive set of 79 observations classified as residential, commercial/industrial, billing structure, drought plan, or general. Our comparison of the VWCI and AWWA survey responses indicate reasonable agreement (ρ = 0.76) between the two WCIs for 98 cities where the data overlap. The correlation suggests the AWWA survey responses can provide fairly robust longitudinal WCP information, but we argue the measurement of WCPs is still in its infancy, and our approach suggests strategies for improving existing methods.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Measuring urban water conservation policies: Toward a comprehensive index|
|Series title||Journal of the American Water Resources Association|
|Publisher||American Water Resources Association|
|Publisher location||Herndon, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center|