Water Wise Bloomington

Water Wise Bloomington was created to strengthen the City of Bloomington Utilities' commitment to provide the community with high quality drinking water while protecting and preserving our natural resources for generations to come.

You can play a vital role in helping to keep Bloomington's drinking water supply clean and abundant! Explore this website to learn how you will benefit from water conservation, to find out how to incorporate water smart practices into your daily life, and to familiarize yourself with Bloomington's Water Conservation Plan, and much more!

How You Benefit from Water Conservation in Bloomington

If you want to jump to learning about how you can conserve water, visit our step-by-step guide to water conservation in the home. However, many people do not fully understand the benefits that result from water conservation, especially in the seemingly water-abundant Midwest. Read below to learn about the numerous ways you will benefit from wise water use practices.

The Water-Energy Nexus

Btown Water Conservation Infographic How Bloomington Benefits from Water Conservation InfographicDid you know that treating and moving water and wastewater consumes enormous amounts of energy, and that, on the flip side, huge amounts of water are required to generate energy? Water-related energy use accounts for 3 to 4 percent of all energy consumed in the United States, and CBU spends millions of dollars each year on energy costs alone! Because we need to pump water over the hilly topography of South Central Indiana, we consume more energy per gallon of water than many other utilities our size.

Using water in the home also consumes energy. Approximately 18% of a typical household's energy use is dedicated to heating water. By reducing the amount of hot water used in your home, you will reduce both your water bill and your energy bill!

All this energy use has a huge impact on our community. The majority of electricity purchased in Bloomington is generated at coal-fired power plants, which are one the nation's top sources of carbon dioxide pollution. Coal plants also emit pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. This all means that, for every drop of water you save, you are minimizing the amount of energy consumed, preventing harmful pollutants from being emitted, and saving money!

For more information, view this US Department of Energy infographic.

Economic Growth

Maintaining a dependable, quality water supply is just as important to economic development and growth as reliable electricity and transportation infrastructures (in fact, they are all dependent on one another). Regions in which this basic service is in jeopardy will have difficulty sustaining a healthy economy. This is particularly relevant in Indiana, which has the highest percentage of workers in water-related employment in the nation! By preserving the quality of our water supply, Bloomington will remain an attractive location for businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors, providing jobs and security for Bloomington residents. Help Bloomington maintain its strong economy by implementing wise water use practices and by keeping pollutants out of our watershed.

Infrastructure Costs

Expanding the capacity of our water infrastructure is expensive, and you, the rate-payer, foot the bill! But you also have the power to help postpone the need for capital-intensive expansion projects. Communities across the world have demonstrated that we can delay the need for costly infrastructure expansion by using water more efficiently. Trends in the United States show that average per-capita water use is dropping due to more efficient water use practices. Keep the trend going by being a smart water user! By optimizing your water use your monthly utility bills will drop, and you can delay the need to dig into your pockets for future water expansion projects!

A Changing Climate

Bloomington has experienced the gamut of climate conditions over the past few years. We have been through one of the hottest and driest summers on record, one of the coldest winters on record, and erratic precipitation patterns. An unpredictable climate can affect both the quantity and quality of our water supplies, especially in communities like ours that depend on surface water.

By implementing wise water use practices into your daily routine, you can help minimize the negative impacts that we may experience as a result of a changing climate, while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Resource Competition

The population of Bloomington and the surrounding area is not getting any smaller, and new sources of water don't just appear out of the blue. Water supplies are finite, and we have an obligation to use our limited resources responsibly. Prudent water use practices will help ensure that future generations have access to clean and abundant water sources, despite growing populations and the lack of new supplies.

Water Conservation Plan

CBU 2014 Water Conservation Plan (PDF 565.24 KB)

Adopting a conservation-oriented mindset among CBU staff and our customers will help ensure an abundant and clean water supply is available for current and future generations, will reduce the electricity and other resources needed for water and wastewater services, and will lessen the need for costly infrastructure expansion projects. With this in mind, CBU adopted its first Water Conservation Plan in 2014, outlining several short-, middle-, and long-term measures to be implemented.

Download the 2014 City of Bloomington Utilities Water Conservation Plan to learn about water production and consumption trends in Bloomington, CBU's water conservation goals, and the measures CBU is planning on implementing to ensure Bloomington is a water wise city.