C2E Program Awarded $152,000 Grant from Walton Family Foundation

Dec. 18, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. (Dec. 18, 2013) – The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) has received a one-year grant of $152,568 from the Walton Family Foundation to support continued development of the innovative Conserve to Enhance (C2E) program originally developed at the WRRC and piloted in Tucson, Ariz.

This grant marks the third year of consecutive funding for the C2E program from the Walton Family Foundation. The first two years of funding for this project focused on developing implementation tools for C2E, including a Program Design Guide in 2011 and an online C2E Water Use Dashboard in 2012.  Program funding has turned the C2E concept into a reality, creating an accessible program for Colorado River Basin communities interested in linking their municipal water conservation efforts with environmental benefits.

This voluntary program creates opportunities for individuals and businesses to invest in watershed health and water resources by conserving water. Residential and commercial participants save water and donate the value of their saved water to a C2E fund that provides funding for local and regional enhancement projects. Projects are based on community priorities and range from instream flows and neighborhood green infrastructure to Colorado River Delta restoration.  

This third year of funding is focused on utilization of the C2E Water Use Dashboard, an innovative new online tool that eases the adoption of C2E for new communities, organizations and businesses, and streamlines C2E participation for water customers. The C2E Water Use Dashboard is scheduled to go live in January 2014, and the WRRC will promote the Dashboard as a mechanism to link water efficiency with environmental enhancement projects. The open source Dashboard provides water consumers with a wealth of information about their water use, tips on how to conserve, information about rebate programs available from participating utilities, and the opportunity to donate to local or regional C2E programs. Water use information provided to each participant will include a breakdown of indoor and outdoor water use, average annual and monthly water use, comparison of current water use with past water use, gallons used per day and daily water savings. The Dashboard will provide a suggested donation based on water savings and will also allow consumers to donate more or less than the suggested donation or set up a recurring donation. Water conservation tips will be seasonally timed, and both tips and rebate information will be customizable for each participating community so that the Dashboard displays locally relevant information for participants.

This grant will support outreach and promotion of the new C2E Water Use Dashboard tool that was developed exclusively for C2E with the financial support of the Walton Family Foundation. WRRC staff will also continue to provide technical support to communities, organizations and businesses interested in developing C2E programs throughout the Colorado River Basin.

For more information on the Conserve to Enhance program or to contact program staff, please visit www.conserve2enhance.org.