Water Use & Efficiency

Why It Matters

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Water use and efficiency is a critical component of our operations and is important to our customers. By increasing water efficiency, we can realize such benefits as reductions in operating costs, energy consumption and source water preservation. Water Efficiency is a solution for an array of water industry problems including customer conservation, resiliency, rates and regulatory affairs, among others.

In our own operations, our greatest opportunities to increase efficiency include optimizing our own water use, minimizing water loss through prevention of leaks and breaks and maintaining infrastructure. We also work with our customers through education, tools and technology to empower individuals to make their water use more efficient and sustainable.

 

Our Approach

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Policies

American Water’s Environmental Policy helps incorporate environmental leadership across the organization. The policy guides our commitment to compliance with relevant environmental laws, regulations and standards, sustaining the environment through responsible business practices and using natural resources, including energy, effectively and efficiently. We regularly review and update our Environmental Policy, as necessary. We most recently updated our Environmental Policy in 2021.

In 2020, we updated our Non-Revenue Water and Water Loss Reporting Practice, which helps us standardize the quality and consistency of our Non-Revenue Water reporting. We designate total water losses and any unbilled consumption within our distribution system as Non-Revenue Water. Using a standardized and efficient methodology to report Non-Revenue Water is not only important for identifying and minimizing water loss, but is also critical for budgeting, managing the needs of our customers, tracking our business growth and planning our future capacity. The practice also recommends annual water audits for our state subsidiaries, the results of which we can use to identify and prioritize investments that prevent and mitigate water loss.

 

Our Performance

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In early 2021, we announced a new goal to continue to meet customer needs while saving 15% in water delivered per customer by 2035, compared to a 2015 baseline1. Since 2015, we have already realized a 4.3% reduction in water delivered per customer. Progress towards this goal will not only demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship, but will also yield energy savings, reductions in non-revenue water losses and lower costs to customers.

1Per customer assumes total customers in all classes based on 2015 baseline. Excludes New York American Water (which will be sold in 2021) from baseline and forecast.