Why Conservation in a Great Lakes State?
Wisconsin is generally blessed with abundant rainfall, plentiful surface waters, and vast groundwater resources. However, water is not always available in the quantity or quality that is needed for human uses. Many Wisconsin communities already face serious water supply challenges caused by declining groundwater supplies, water quality issues, and aging utility infrastructure. At the same time, changing demand patterns associated with dynamic economic and development factors as well as successful conservation practices can create revenue stability issues. The number of communities facing these challenges is expected to grow in the coming years.
Utility managers have many options for achieving conservation and efficiency. These options fall into three general categories: reducing customer demand (demand management programs), managing water loss, and adopting conservation-oriented rate structures.The Public Service Commission (PSC) works with Wisconsin water utilities to incorporate water conservation and efficiency measures into water supply planning and to promote customers' efficient and sustainable use of water while at the same time ensuring revenue stability. These efforts can reduce wasteful consumption, avoid the need to invest in expensive drinking water and wastewater capacity, and save energy and chemicals used to pump, treat, and distribute water. In the long term, conservation and efficiency measures save both the utility and the ratepayers money and provide economic and environmental benefits to Wisconsin.