Gary Woodard, a senior water policy and economic consultant at M&A, will be presenting a talk at the Arizona Water Association’s 87th annual conference. The theme of the conference, which takes place on May 7–9 in Glendale, is “Public Investment in Water for a Strong Economy and Healthy Communities.” Presenters will focus on the continuing need to effectively communicate the essentials in reliability and water quality in the face of decreased funding, staff, and resources. AZ Water is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing Arizona’s water environment.
Gary’s talk — “Recalibrating our Planning Assumptions: Causes and Consequences of Declining Domestic Demand” — is scheduled for Thursday, May 8.
There is a growing realization that many basic assumptions underlying urban water demand forecasts also are no longer valid. Per-household water demand has been declining in the Southwest for decades. Recently, municipal water providers have been vexed more by falling demand and revenues than supply shortages. Declining demand has created uncertainty and planning challenges for municipal providers, water wholesalers, wastewater plant operators, and regulatory agencies. A study of the causes and likely impacts of these trends in Arizona focuses on single-family residential water use, with particular attention to efficiency standards for appliances and fixtures, sociodemographic trends, changing tastes in landscapes, and the declining popularity of backyard pools.