Five concepts for conservation of municipal water supply are analyzed from an economic efficiency perspectice. They include: 1) seasonal pricing (for reduction of peak period water use), 2) dual water systems (separate high quality drinking water and untreated outdoor irrigation systems), 3) imported water transmission facility capacity optimization, 4) flow restricting devices, and 5) short-term rationing concepts. Optimization models, including generalized model generators, were developed for analysis of the first three concepts and demonstrated by applications to cities in Utah. The flow restricting device and short-term rationsing concept analyses applied approaches taken from the literature to example sites in Utah. The final chapter is a comparison of results and summary of conditions which favor each approach to conservation. Conclusions include: Seasonal pricing was demonstarted to reduce peak period water use but is not justified in Salt Lake City because the added cost of metering exceeds the additional benefits. Dual water systems are potentially an important concept for matching various qualities of water with appropriate uses and producing net economic benefits. Determination of capacity of an imported water facility is dominated more by the decision maker's attitude toward risk than by pricing policy. Flow restricting devices produce economic benefits only if the change in quality of service is ignored. Price elasticity is much lower during a drought than during normal conditions.
Hughes, Trevor C.; Narayanan, Rangesan; McKee, Mac; Bishop, A. Bruce; LeConte, Robert; and Al-Hassan, Sumani, "Economic Evaluation of Conservation Concepts for Municipal Water Systems" (1986). Reports. Paper 389.