Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Questions re Waukesha's 11% cut in water use

I read the MJS article Waukesha cuts water use 11%, seeks more restrictions
written by Darryl Enriquez and have a few comments/questions for consideration.

A few questions:

1. How much of the decline in usage cited in the article is due to the loss of water-intensive industry that has left Waukesha ? Does your utility have stats on this?

2. How much has the actual reduction in per capita residential usage been? Does you utility have stats on this?

3. What was the contribution of precipitation to that change in residential usage cited in the article?? As an example, the precipitation for all of
2005 was 32.8 in, while that for 2008 was 45.1 (a 38% increase). [Note these rainfall figures are over the entire calendar year--not just growing seasons--and are for southern Washington County ]. To me, that rainfall pattern seems that it could easily account for the 12% drop in water usage from 2005 to 2008 as in wetter years people don't water their lawns as much, clean their cars, etc.

I'm not entirely negating all of your conservation efforts, but just wanted to get a better understanding of the situation. Do you have more data on residential and industrial water usage declines that can be correlated with yearly or seasonal rainfall events?

I realize we just sent you a HUGE list of questions, and I’m adding more! I really appreciate your efforts to answer our questions and make this whole process transparent.



Cheryl Nenn
Riverkeeper/Interim Executive Director
Milwaukee Riverkeeper
1845 N. Farwell Ave. Suite 100
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 287-0207 ext. 229 (note new extension)
(414) 273-7293 (fax)

Formerly Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers