The City of Veneta now has an adopted five-year Water Conservation Program (WCP) (PDF) designed to reduce peak monthly per capita usage by 5% over the program's lifespan.
City of Veneta Water Supply and Our Need For Conservation
Western Oregon is known for its abundance of annual precipitation and Veneta is no exception – receiving nearly 50 inches of precipitation annually. This begs the question: why is there a need for water conservation in Veneta? Essentially, the combination of local geology and rapid population growth within the past decade heighten the need for conservation.
The City's sole source of water comes from deep groundwater wells. In general, groundwater is diffucult to find in the Veneta area in sufficient quantity and quality to meet municipal demands. At the same time, the cost of drilling and equipping new wells has increased significantly. These factors mean water is getting more and more expensive to find and produce. To meet water demands, the City is exercising its options in search of additional water supply sources but is limited as far as water rights are concerned. Because water demand is exceeding water supply and additional water sources are hard to obtain, water conservation is becoming increasingly important.
For more information on the City's water supply and need for conservation, refer to the City's Water Conservation Program (PDF).
Water Use Facts
- The City of Veneta's 1,500 residential accounts are responsible for approximately 85% of total consumption.
- In Veneta, outdoor water use accounts for 41% of the annual residential water usage; and 2/3 of the summertime (June-September) residential water usage.
- Research shows that on average 80-90% of outdoor residential water usage is for lawn watering.
- In Veneta, the average household uses 5,000 gallons a month during the winter months and 14-15,000 gallons a month during the summer months.
- Toilets are the #1 water-consuming fixture indoors, accounting for about 27% of all indoor water use.
- According to the EPA, about 20% of toilets leak, and a leaky toilet can increase water usage by 200 gallons a day!
Water Bill-ology – How is My Water Bill Calculated?
Designed to encourage conservation, the City employs what is commonly referred to as a conservation rate structure. The basic idea is that as you use more water, the cost of water per gallon goes up.
- All residential accounts are charged the same base rate regardless of use
- Consumption is charged per 1,000 gallons of use (Kgal = 1,000 gallons)
Example: Your bill says your household used 8,000 gallons: $10.73 + (5 X $2.34) + (3 X $2.78) = $30.77
The purpose of the conservation rate structure is to encourage conservation, charging a higher rate per gallon the more water is used, commensurate with the impact on the system.
Water Use Calculators
To calculate a water budget for your household, visit EWEB's Know your water budget calculator: http://www.eweb.org/public/documents/water/know_your_water_budget.pdf
To measure your household water footprint, check out the Water Footprint Calculator: http://www.h2oconserve.org/home.php
Find out how many gallons that drip wastes by using the American Water Works Association drip calculator: http://www.awwa.org/AWWA/waterwiser/dripcalc.cfm?showLogin=N
Indoor Water Conservation Tips
- The average washing machine uses 40 gallons of water or more, full or not. Save for a full load.
- Check your toilet periodically for leaks; toilets are the number one water consuming fixture indoors.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving, rather than running a steady stream.
- Limit showers to five minutes.
- For efficient water use, make sure dishwasher and washing machine are full before running.
- Avoid using your toilet for a wastebasket or ashtray; extra flushes waste water and money.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This will save water you might otherwise waste when you let the faucet run until the water is cool.
- Retrofit all outdated water fixtures with newer water-conserving fixtures.
Percentage of Average household Use
||Older style showerheads, 8 minutes: 24-40 gallons
||2 gallon-per-minute low flow showerheads, 5 minutes: 10 gallons
||Tap running: 2-5 gallons
||Web brush, rinse: 1/8 gallon
||Full tub: 36 gallons
||Minimal water level: 10 gallons
||Tap running: 5-15 gallons
||Tap off, quick rinse: 2 gallons
||Tap running: 25 gallons
||Tap off while washing, sink ½ full, w/ rinse bowl: 5 gallons
||Tap running: 2-3 gallons
||Tap off while washing: ¼ gallon
||Non ultra-low flow toilet: 3.5-7 gallons per flush
||Ultra low-flow toilet: 1.6 gallons per flush
||Older style: 40 gallons
||Efficient: 25 gallons
||21.7% (washing machine)|
||Full cycle: 25 gallons
||Short cycle: 12 gallons
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
- Water lawns early in the morning or late in the evening (minimizes evaporation), use a timer.
- Use a bucket for washing the car. Use a hose only for wetting & rinsing. Use a nozzle that shuts off when not in use.
- Use a broom instead of a hose for cleaning side walks and driveways.
- Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
- If you have automatic sprinklers be sure to turn them off if rainfall has been sufficient for your yard's needs.
- Use native or drought-resistant plants that will minimize long term water consumption.
- Consider an evapotranspiration (ET based) irrigation system. These systems use 20% to 30% less water than standard irrigation systems.
- Use drip irrigation in your planted beds and gardens.
- Keep irrigation systems running efficiently, repair, replace or adjust sprinkler heads, check the system for leaks.
- Collect and use rainwater for watering your garden.
- Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture.
- Direct downspouts toward shrubs or trees.
How can you tell if your irrigation system is leaking? (PDF)
Take our water conservation quiz (PDF)
Weekly Lawn Watering Recommendation
For information on proper lawn watering check out our Lawn Watering Guide (PDF).
To check the weekly watering recommendation, check out the EWEB weekly watering recommendation (links to external site).
Helpful Water Conservation Links
Water-wise plants: Water-wise plants suitable for the Willamette Valley: http://www.cityofsalem.net/Departments/PublicWorks/Operations/Water%20Services/Documents/water-wise_plants.pdf;
Water-efficient Landscapes: Seven basic steps for creating Water-efficient landscapes: http://www.portlandonline.com/water/index.cfm?c=51032&a=268757
Smart Irrigation Controllers: An innovative and effective irrigation tool, the Smart [Irrigation] Controller (also referred to as evapotranspiration (ET) controllers, weather-based irrigation controllers, and smart sprinkler controllers) utilize weather conditions and soil moisture levels to meet the actual needs of plants. For more information click here: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/products/controltech.html
Graywater: Graywater is wastewater collected from showers, bathtubs, bathroom sinks, and clothes washer machines. Graywater can be rerouted to be used in particular water fixtures or your landscape to help meet irrigation needs and reduce monthly water bills. Here is a look at how the building code relates to graywater: http://www.bcd.oregon.gov/pdf/0990.pdf
Fixing Leaks Around the Home: The EPA's WaterSense Fixing Leaks Around the Home page is a great resource for repairing leaks around your house: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/products/controltech.html
Lawn Watering Guide (PDF)
EWEB Weekly Watering Recommendation