Fixing the economics of water conservation | Tom Ash | TEDxUCRSalon

Fixing the economics of water conservation | Tom Ash | TEDxUCRSalon

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Do you understand what you are being charged for on your water bill? Have you ever had your rates raised during periods of drought when water is being saved? That is because the economics of water is broken and based on a failing system. Tom Ash provides a simple solution that can help us save more water and money.

Tom Ash has over 25 years of experience in the fields of water use efficiency, public education and horticulture. As a water conservation specialist from the University of California, Tom was the University liaison to water agencies in southern California starting in 1987. Tom was instrumental in the design and implementation of the first water budget tiered rate structure for water agencies. That rate design has been described as “the model” for such rates in the US by the EPA (1996). In 2000, Tom was the recipient of the first “Excellence in Water Conservation” Award presented by the California Urban Water Conservation Council (CUWCC), and has been a horticulture advisor to Sunset Magazine. He conducted the first studies using ET/smart controller technology to reduce water demand and urban runoff starting in 1997. He is the author of Landscape Management for Water Savings, published by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (1997) and the book Water Preparedness Plan for the National Nursery and Landscape Association (2004). Tom is currently a long-term consultant to Western Municipal Water District, specializing in rates, water efficiency, customer service and community outreach as the principal of Tom Ash & Associates.

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5 thoughts on “Fixing the economics of water conservation | Tom Ash | TEDxUCRSalon”

  1. I do not believe it, there has always been enough water. But I do believe a person can use to much water. A lack of a thing is always the first sign the water bill goes thru the roof. greed

  2. A simplest way to save water in the world with no cost as follows:

    Step 1: At a washbasin – Just turn water tap maximum and measure total volume of water in a minute. That’s around 9 liters or more.
    Step 2: There is a knob below every wash basin.
    Step 3: Turn it little to reduce water flow.
    Step 4: Water tap maximum volume of water in a minute should be equal to 6 liters or near it.
    So, you save water 33% or more at the wash basin with no cost, time, or much effort.

    This makes it to be the Simplest way to Save Water in the World and it comes with no cost.

  3. A good talk to introduce key concepts but I am not sure how catchment management consideration and costs – to keep water clean, or factored into the equation? Or if this sustainable rate considers equity? For example, if I am rich, and have a big plot of land I am entitled to more cheap water than my less landed poorer neighbour?

  4. I like this talk. I love how you schooled Mr. and Mrs. Smith they're ignorance and entitlement was showing. I learned something too. Great talk!

  5. Mr. Ash, Excellent piece and well delivered.
    It appears your 34 HCF = 34 CCF (in our local terms) or 34 * 748 gallons…which are horrible units (HCF or CCF) on which to subject the masses.  This is another thing the water industry needs to abandon in favor of 'gallons' or 'Kgals' when communicating to the public via billing or other outreach media.  Thank you for this presentation.


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