Water conservation is a goal we should all strive for, but our aspirations to be better water stewards is not reliable enough for an engineering design. Weston can and should increase its promotion of conservation to reduce water use, and we have taken steps to encourage water conservation. The Town requires green building certification standards for new municipal buildings. For houses that come under Planning Board review, the Town mandates the use of water efficient fixtures and “smart” irrigation systems for newly constructed or renovated homes. The Select Board has established a three-tiered water rate system so that consumption of water above certain thresholds is charged at much higher rates.
Conservation of water might help Weston lose the distinction of having the highest per capita water consumption in the state. Water use in Weston is largely driven by lawn irrigation. Average daily demand for water during the summer months increases between 35-50% over average annual water use. Education of residents regarding the detrimental impact of large lawns on our water consumption rates may help to bring down water consumption. However, unless water conservation is mandated and enforced, which will be very unpopular and difficult, any reduction in water use would be purely speculative and could not form the basis for design of a water system. Further, the reduction in water usage by conservation will not change our need for additional water storage capacity.