Kentucky’s conservation program will save Kentucky’s taxpayers more than $1 billion a year, a new study says.
The study was released Monday by the Kentucky Water Resources Association, which supports the state’s water and wastewater policies.
In addition, the study found that the state is one of only five states that has a state-wide water plan.
It also found that Kentucky is one the few states in the country that has been able to fully utilize its surplus water, thanks to the state having the nation’s largest aquifer.
The water plan aims to restore water levels and make Kentucky’s lakes and rivers more usable.
“The water plan is a critical component of the state of Kentucky’s overall water management strategy, which aims to ensure that the State is able to restore its water resources to where they were before the Great Recession, and ensure that we have the water resources that we need to protect Kentucky’s watersheds, which are critical for economic and environmental sustainability,” said KWRSA President and CEO John C. Kline in a press release.
“We are pleased to report that the water plan provides an opportunity for Kentucky to achieve a balanced plan and achieve the best water management practices for the State’s water resources.”
The Kentucky Water Conservancy is responsible for managing about 40 percent of the country’s fresh water.
The conservation program, which started in 2013, allows residents to save as much as 15 percent on their water bills through the use of savings accounts.
Residents can access savings accounts at the KWRCA website, and can also save up to 25 percent in their local tax bill.
“Kentucky’s water plan allows residents with lower incomes to save an average of $2,100 annually on their bills, which is more than twice as much savings as any other state in the United States,” said David Sosnick, director of water conservation for the KWRCA.
“By making savings accounts a reality, this is a very smart way to reduce water bills for people in low-income areas.”
The conservation plan, which goes into effect July 1, also allows individuals to earn up to $2.00 per minute, a significant savings in water usage.
Residents also can take advantage of the savings to buy water savings certificates, which allow them to buy unlimited water from the KWA.
The savings certificates are valid for six years, but can be withdrawn at any time.
KWRAC also recommends that individuals purchase the KWS-1 water conservation account, which provides a 20 percent discount on the cost of their water bill for the first year, and $25 per month thereafter.
“This plan allows the State to save $3,300 in annual water usage and reduce the annual average water usage by about 30 percent over the course of six years,” said C. David Oakes, the director of KWA’s public affairs office.
“In addition, it allows for a savings of $1,000 in total water consumption per person, or an average savings of about $300 per person per year.”
The water savings account also allows residents a choice of water types and uses that may be beneficial to them, such as using less than 50 percent of their limited water allowance.
In other words, it provides an additional option for those who are on the water conservancy’s low-cost water conservation plan.
“Residents can earn savings of up to 80 percent on water conservation through this account, but it does not offer any additional water savings options,” said Oakes.
“If you are on a lower cost water conservation, you may want to check out a KWA water savings program that offers additional savings.”
The KWA-1 account is one reason why the KWI conservation program has been so popular with Kentucky residents.
The KWRA estimates that about a third of Kentuckians now have the account, and the KAWS water conservation accounts have doubled in size in the past year.
The program is designed to help people save money for water, but also to encourage people to make more informed choices about water consumption.
The Kentucky Conservation Water Program also offers a savings account to people who use a lot of water.
That savings account is available at the state treasury, and those who have a KWI-1 savings account can take a $1.50 tax credit to help pay for their water conservation.
The most important thing, said KWSA president and CEO Sosick, is to make the KWC a part of the community.
“It’s important for people to understand that it’s important to have this program in place, that we’re doing it to help the State, and that we are doing it for the benefit of Kentucks water resources,” he said.
“And that’s a great part of it.”