Scorecard Rankings of States for Water Efficiency and Sustainability Policies – New Mexico Ranked 24th | National

SANTA FE, NM and CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 18, 2023 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) released the 2022 US State Policy Scorecard for Water Efficiency and Sustainability (Scorecard), which ranks each US state evaluated based on the enactment of laws and policies that promote water efficiency, conservation, sustainability and affordability. New Mexico received 20 points out of a possible 89, ranking 24th in the nation and sixth in the Colorado River Basin region.

“With water scarcity in the Colorado and Rio Grande river basins expected to worsen due to climate change, New Mexico urgently needs further investment in water efficiency and conservation,” said Ron Burke, AWE President and CEO. “New Mexico received less than 1/4 of the possible scorecard points, and only Wyoming underperformed among Colorado River Basin states.”

AWE found several gaps in the way New Mexico is helping local water agencies, businesses and residents manage water efficiently and sustainably.

The report contains three priority recommendations:

* Plumbing fixtures sold in the state must meet WaterSense efficiency specifications

* Adoption of guidelines to limit water loss in utility distribution systems

* Require water utilities to develop and implement drought preparedness plans

While some states have improved since AWE’s previous scorecard was released in 2017, the analysis found little progress overall, even as droughts and other climate change impacts are increasingly eroding affordable, reliable water services. The average state score was only 23 out of a possible 89 points.

“Water efficiency and conservation are typically the quickest, most cost-effective ways to conserve water while reducing water bills, reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, protecting rivers and lakes, and improving resilience to extreme weather events,” Burke said.

Effective water conservation policies at the state level are even more important now that the US Congress has approved billions of dollars in loans and grants for water services under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Many of these funds are managed by governments and can only be maximized with good government policies.

California ranked first in the nation with 72.5 points, followed by Texas with 54.5 points. The remaining ten highest-ranked states are, in that order, Arizona, Georgia, Washington, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Minnesota.

Key findings include:

* Connecticut was the only state to report using its own funds to support customers’ water bill support

* California is the only state that requires water utilities to adapt to climate change

* 18 states use their own revenues to fund water efficiency and conservation

* 16 states are providing funding for water reuse.

* 13 states require tariff structures that promote water efficiency

* 19 states require coordination between local land use and water planning authorities.

Despite the low scores, there have been some bright spots, including 10 states introducing point-of-sale sanitation efficiency requirements that exceed federal standards since 2017, for a current total of 15 states plus the District of Columbia.

To download the full report and access individual state scorecards, click here:

About the Alliance for Water Efficiency:

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) is a non-profit organization with more than 500 organizational members dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water throughout North America. AWE offers training, research and other resources for water efficiency professionals, and we encourage the public to conserve water through tools like our Home Water Works Calculator. In addition, AWE is committed to products, programs and policies that promote water efficiency.

NEWS SOURCE: Alliance for Water Efficiency

This press release was issued on behalf of the news source (Alliance for Water Efficiency) by Send2Press® Newswire, which is solely responsible for its accuracy. The information is believed to be correct but not guaranteed. Story ID: 88008 APDF-R8.7

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