Monday, May 26, 2008

Where's AWA's water conservation message?

Update, June 10: I received a note from Amador Water Agency General Manager Jim Abercrombie today about -- as he put it -- my "complaining about him behind his back" for using this blog to suggest that the agency put water conservation information on its home page.

Apparently someone read this entry and mentioned it to Jim (maybe it's the AWA mystery daily visitor?) . So the agency has now added a Water Conservation link, buried in the small links on the left side of the home page. It's about time. One of the links on the conservation page was on the Foothill Conservancy home page for six months.

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Thanks to our unusually dry spring, it's a relatively dry year in the Mokelumne River watershed, from which the Amador Water Agency gets its water.

East Bay MUD, which supplies water to the East Bay, gets its water from the Mokelumne, too. That agency started a mandatory water rationing program this spring. According to its website,
"The District is seeking a 15 percent reduction in water use overall. Single-family residential customers are being asked to cut back 19 percent."
EBMUD's website also includes a link to water-saving tips on its home page.

So you'd think the Amador Water Agency would be urging its customers to conserve water -- especially since conservation and efficiency are now part of the agency's strategic plan.

Maybe the Water Agency is doing something along those lines, but you'd never know from looking at its website. There's not one new word about water conservation or efficiency on the AWA home page, and certainly nothing indicating that we might be in a drier-than-normal year.

The home page does include a link to information about AWA's demonstration water-saving garden, but that's been on the site for years. There's also some minimal information about water conservation in the site's FAQs, but it's truly that -- minimal.

Putting water conservation information on an Internet home page -- or a link to that information -- is really cheap. Excellent information is readily available (see the California Urban Water Conservation Council's H20 House site). Nearly everyone has Internet access these days. So why doesn't the Water Agency use its website to promote conservation and efficiency?

Surely an agency that is planning a $44 million dam project (raising Lower Bear Reservoir) can spend a few hundred bucks on a web link in a dry year.

Maybe the AWA employee who reads this blog nearly every day can comment and let me know what the agency is doing to encourage its customers to conserve this year.

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