Water saving mechanisms, a policy analysis
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Distributed water conservation provides significant benefits to overall water availability, particularly if adopted at a large scale. Conservation strategies, such as rainwater harvesting, xeriscaping, and permeable pavements are desirable because they conserve water, increase recharge near dwellings, and reduce dangerous stormwater runoff. Though conserving water is an admirable goal, justifying retrofits for water conservation mechanisms to existing structures is difficult because water prices are very low in much of the United States. However, stormwater regulations and the increasing implementation of stormwater utilities by cities enable other avenues of adoption for these practices. This thesis reviews water conservation strategies, examines local and state policies, and presents a “model policy”. The model policy design uses a comparative approach to identify useful incentives and aggregates best management and policy practices from several states to serve as a guide and accelerate implementation.