Columbia Basin to Get Water Smart

By Contributor
April 14th, 2009

Working with local governments, Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is launching the Columbia Basin Water Smart Initiative (CBWSI) to help communities reduce water consumption by 20% by 2015.

“It’s an ambitious goal, but residents have told us that water conservation is a priority,” said Kindy Gosal, CBT Director of Water and Environment. “Water is the foundation of the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the Columbia River Basin and moving forward with water conservation efforts is key to ensuring that a healthy and sustainable water supply is in place for future generations.”

Despite the apparent wealth of fresh water in the Columbia Basin, increasing human activities, population growth, and climate change are
placing pressure on water systems.

In a 2004 survey, Basin residents acknowledge water consumption in the
Basin is high and that there is a need for water conservation measures.
Specifically, residents requested information and education on the
quantity of water in the Basin, the costs of potable water and information on the economic and environmental benefits of conserving water.

CBT is responding to these requests and is working with local governments to create the Columbia Basin Water Smart Initiative that addresses Basin-wide water conservation. The goal of the initiative is to develop a coordinated regional approach and community specific action plans to assist local governments in achieving an appropriate reduction target that contributes to a 20% Basin-wide reduction in domestic water consumption by 2015.

“The first step of the Columbia Basin Water Smart Initiative is to hire a project team to manage and coordinate the overall initiative,” explains Gosal. “CBT is currently advertising a Request for Proposals from qualified project teams who will start connecting with Basin municipalities and residents in May.”

In the coming months, the initiative will provide local governments with
access to technical experts in the water conservation field and the opportunity to create a community specific Water Conservation Action Plan.

In addition, CBT will create a web-based water conservation tool kit to provide resources, tips and support for Basin communities interested in
implementing water conservation measures.

For more information on this initiative or on the RFP, contact Heather
Mitchell at 1.800.505.8998 or email hmitchell@cbt.org. For more
information on CBT Water Initiatives visit http://www.cbt.org/water.


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