Waste Note, Want Not (Pacific Institute 2003)

Despite the progress California has already made in improving water efficiency, the authors of the Waste Not, Want Not report estimate that up to one-third of California’s current urban water use — more than 2.3 million acre-feet — can be saved using existing technology (as simple as low-flow shower-heads) and policies.
Moreover, through a cost-benefit analysis, they calculate that at least 85% of these savings (over 2 million acre-feet) can be conserved at costs below those of expanding the sources of supply and without the social, environmental, and economic impacts that any major water project would bring.
Examples of the smart water policies that the authors list as supportive of California’s conservation and efficiency potential include proper pricing of water to encourage waste reduction, financial incentives for low-flow appliances, proper design of subsidy and rebate programs, new state and national efficiency standards for appliances, education and information outreach, water metering programs, and more aggressive local efforts to promote conservation.
To read the full report, follow the link to the Pacific Institute website.