Jul 08 2019Share

Collaboration Brings Efficiency for AMWUA Cities

By Warren Tenney

Collaboration among the AMWUA cities results in efficiency and strong water management. On a continual basis a variety of advisory groups consisting of professionals from each of the municipalities gather together to share expertise in a variety of focus areas.

The Regional Conservation and Efficiency Advisory Group, which is a collaborative effort of the conservation staffs of the ten AMWUA municipalities, AMWUA staff, regional agencies including the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Salt River Project (SRP), Central Arizona Project (CAP), and others, focus on the advancement of conservation and efficient water use.

These professionals have worked together for nearly four decades to lead their municipalities toward a culture of conservation. Together and individually, they have created rebate and auditing programs, classes and demonstration gardens, websites, tips and videos and publications that help people save water inside and outside their homes, as well as at the commercial level where they assist local businesses in running more efficiently.

They’ve had an impact because they are always learning and looking for new ways to help us all use water more wisely.  In addition to meeting monthly, members of the conservation group gather together to sharpen their skills through training sessions. Most recently, members gathered in the City of Avondale to learn first-hand about the importance of efficiency when it comes to cooling towers.

Conservation Collaboration 2This specific training was led by Andrew Pirrone, Water Conservation Specialist Lead with the Town of Gilbert. Previously, Pirrone and the other conservation professionals from Gilbert evaluated the cooling towers on several town-owned buildings to ensure they were running as efficiently as possible. The experience and knowledge that Pirrone and the Gilbert staff had assembled would bring value to the other cities through this training, which is precisely why they gathered in Avondale. All of the AMWUA cities are continually taking steps to ensure their operations are efficient as it is part of their long-term water management.

With that goal in mind, Esmie Avila, Water Conservation Coordinator with Avondale, wanted to learn how to evaluate cooling towers at their city facilities to ensure efficiency was being achieved. This created a perfect training session for all the cities’ conservation staffs in assessing not only their own operations, but local businesses as well. With thousands of cooling towers in the Valley, getting the most out of cooling systems saves money for businesses and institutions while saving water for us all.

Providing residents and businesses with information, tools, and assistance to use water wisely is the common goal of the conservation group and through their continual collaboration, they have collectively changed the culture of our landscapes, achieved conservation objectives, and made our communities more resilient, but their work is never done.

The AMWUA Conservation and Efficiency Advisory Group will continue to gather for training and share best practices, it’s what they do. They really are a good example of how cities use the power of collaboration to help residents and businesses to save water and money. After all, we know that every drop counts.

For 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit

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