The City of Hillsboro has implemented a variety of conservation measures and plans significant program enhancements over the next several years. But despite this aggressive conservation approach, conservation does not alleviate the need for a new source. However, conservation programs remain a crucial component of Hillsboro's water management strategy. Water efficiency programs help alleviate water waste and also stretch the current supply to support growth until a new supply can be developed.
Highlights of Hillsboro's conservation programs include:
- Hillsboro provides a rich and varied menu of water conservation education programs to its customers. The City also participates in and takes maximum advantage of regional and sub-regional conservation education opportunities.
- In 2006, Hillsboro modified its rate structure to provide even more conservation incentives than were embedded in the previous rates. The new rate design removed water allowances and includes a three-tier increasing block rate for single-family residential customers.
- Hillsboro is converting to an AMR (automated meter reading) system. All new meters will be installed as AMR meters, and existing meters will be replaced by 2020. The meters will enhance conservation signals to customers and improve leak detection efforts.
- Hillsboro's residential per capita (person) water use has decreased from 97 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) in 2002 to 78 gpcd in 2007, to 64 gpcd in 2013, a 34 percent total reduction. However, the total system per capita use has remained steady (an average of 163 gpcd) because of increasing industrial use. Industrial customers, such as Intel, IDT, Genentech, and Solar World, account for 40 percent of Hillsboro's total system usage.
- Hillsboro's award-winning school audit program resulted in average water savings of more than 60 percent at eight area schools. Before and after water use data from these schools are presented in Exhibit 3-1 . Based on these results, the Hillsboro School District has implemented similar measures at other schools.
- Hillsboro's ongoing clothes washer and high-efficiency toilet (HET) rebate programs continue to be popular among customers and has generated significant water savings. Hillsboro Water has issued 3900 washer rebates since 2002, and 1638 HET rebates since 2009.