Water utility of the future: a case study of conservation as a service
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INTRODUCTION: Water utilities serving growing populations in dry climates face challenges in balancing increasing water demand with scarce supplies. New water supply sources are increasingly expensive and require construction of additional infrastructure for treatment and delivery. This poses a challenge for utilities to balance revenues and costs to remain financially viable. As a result, water utilities may face a difficult choice. If the utility chooses to develop new water supplies, they will have to increase their rates. However, they can also choose to assess alternative supply and demand management strategies to match revenues with the increasing marginal costs. Approaches such as water reuse, rainwater or condensate harvesting or harnessing other alternative sources are becoming increasingly widespread. Nonetheless, it is important to continuously assess and implement demand conservation programs, which often prove relatively quick, low-cost and straightforward to implement. [TRUNCATED]
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