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Water Conservation Practice in Olympia


Olympia city has a comprehensive water conservation program which involves many projects. The city puts much effort in the conservation of water. To achieve this end, various organizations and agencies have invoked various procedures so as to meet the target. From educational programs to technological inventions the planners seize every opportunity to achieve the consumption of water. The programs have therefore been of great success.

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Population, Temperature and Annual Precipitation Depth


Being the largest city in the county of Thurston Olympia has a population of 4, 2514 according to the 2006 estimates. The city’s population is much higher compared to the adjacent regions which have registered low population counts. Other demographic indications of the city include the marital status of the population. For instance those who have never been married account for 30.9% of the population, those married account for 47.3%, 1.6% have separated, 6.2 are widows and widowers and 14.1% are currently divorced (Municipal Council of Olympia, 2009)


Olympia has a rich history in almost all aspects. The temperature of the city is approximately 48°F / 8°C. It experiences cloudy climatically patterns and sometimes the temperature rises to 52°F / 11°C, which has been documented as the highest.

Annual Precipitation Depth

Having been ranked as 13th in the US, the city has an area of 18.52 square miles and an elevation of 221 feet above sea level. The city has an average annual precipitation of 59.59 inches.

Conservation in Olympia

The city which seems not to have a conservation plan indeed has a comprehensive plan of the reduction of the use of water. The main driving forces of the city’s conservation efforts are its trend of growth coupled with its prospects as well as the persistent drought in part of the city (Sipes 2010). Increase in population and the lack of rain during peak season also drive the program to develop a water conservation program. This program includes the following:

  • Rain barrel sale at subsidized price
  • Low water use washing machine rebates
  • Free irrigation check ups

The program has so far been a great success, according to local reports the use of water has declined even as the population rises. More and more people are letting their lawns to be brown during summer so as to save the amount of water utilized on the irrigation of the same. Apart fro m the fining system to discourage careless use of water the city has innovative strategies of ensuring compliance. For instance it uses night-time drive and water billing records to identify high water users and assist them to lower consumption of water. By following advice from conservation specialists most customers reduce their consumption levels by 20%. The program also applies to the commercial and government sector (Municipal Code Corporation, 2009).

What Olympia Has Done

Mandatory Practices

System Water Audit and Water Loss: The city gas enhanced the practice of implementing conservation measures by instituting the water audit system. Through this program the conservation officials conduct periodical analysis of the use of water (Lindenmayer, 2010). The misuse of water is recorded and remedial action taken. Mostly this program is executed with the aim of curbing the rampant misuse of water (Sipes 2010). The audit is conducted to enhance discipline in water use.

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Water Conservation Pricing: Water pricing has two dimensions in its applicability as a water conservation gimmick. Firs and foremost the amount raised through the practice is used to fund the various processes and technologies used in water conservation (Government of Olympia, 2010). Secondly rain water is sold at a subsidized rate to encourage the use of rainwater. This in turn leads to the increase in the alternative sources of water for the city (Lawrence 2009). It is against this background that the harvesting of rain water is encouraged.

Prohibition on Wasting Water: The prohibition of wasting water was incepted to institutionalize the wise use of water program. Under this regulation is a punishable offense to indulge in activities that bring about a misuse of water resources.

Showerhead, Aerator and Toilet Flapper Retrofit: The installation of water conserving technology gadgets has been a major plank in the city’s water conservation program (Baker, 2009). Under this process, gadgets like showerheads, toilet flapper and aerators are conformed to meet the water conserving requirements.

Residential Toilet Replacement Programs: The replacement of toilets in the residential settlements has picked up with increasing intensity. The idea is meant to install new toilet systems that are in line with the city’s water conservation endeavors.

Water Survey for Single-Family and Multi-Family Customers: Water surveys are commonly performed by the authorities to ascertain the progress of the water conservation programs (Lawrence 2009). However the survey for single and multi user customers is unique in a way. This is specifically done to the company’s water customers to monitor the city’s water use status.

Water Wise Landscape Design and Conversion Programs: Water wise landscape design and conversion programs endeavor to develop means and methodologies that aid the conservation endeavors of the entire city (Sipes 2010). Parameters are installed bearing in mind the city water conservation efforts.

Voluntary Practices

  • Residential Clothes Washer Incentive Program: The clothe washer incentive program endeavors to spur the introduction and use of water saving washing machines. This is a technology machine based program which seeks to replace existing washers with water conserving ones. Various incentives are offered to those who opt to make the necessary changes (Municipal Code Corporation, 2009) Athletic Field Conservation. This is a conservation module that focuses on the use of water for external purposes. Wise use of water is encouraged under the program in quite a number of means and methodologies (David 2010).
  • Golf Course Conservation: Golf course conservation complements the field conservation endeavor in providing assistance for the conservation efforts based on exterior programs. The success of this aspect has been measured using various parameters.
  • Metering of All New Connections and Retrofit of Existing Connections: In order to practically bring all water connections under the conservation program, the city embarked on the process of metering all new connections so as to succeed in the endeavor (Lawrence 2009). This goes along way in monitoring the progress of the water conservation techniques.
  • Wholesale Agency Assistance Program: The program aims at offering general assistance to wholesale customers in a bid to effect conservation. The program works in diverse ways so as to achieve the goal and bring about wise water use.
  • Conservation Coordinator: In order to have an administration for the entire water program, the city came up with the concept of conservation administrator (Lawrence 2009). The roles played under this umbrella include the administration and supervision of water conservation projects and plans.
  • Water Reuse: The recycling of water is considered critical to the availability and conservation of water in the city. The reuse of water has always accompanied other vital programs in the city’s conservation efforts.
  • Rainwater Harvesting and Condensate Reuse: To affect the search for alternative water sources the harvesting of rain water and its subsequent reuse was incepted (David 2010). Under this program citizens are advised to tap rain water and make full use of the same. Incentives of various natures are given including the provision of free rain gauges.

Educational Practices

  • Public information: Through education seminars and information the city of Olympia has perfected the art of spreading awareness about its conservation efforts (Lawrence 2009). The program is run so as to educate the public on the importance of the city’s water conservation programs.
  • School Education: The formal curriculum and extra curricular activity acquaints about the wise use of water and its implications availed to the students (David 2010). This is where the city has wisely invested in the future of its conservation prospects.
  • Youth Program: The youth program mostly focuses on the youth to spread the awareness on the water conservation program (Government of Olympia, 2010).
  • Online Water-Saving Information: Water conservation campaign has been extended to online. The information is relayed on the internet.

Other Forms of Conservation

Water Conservation Offers and Rebates

Ever since LOTT started its water conservation program a lot of progress has been made. Water flows have reduced drastically. This is an indication of the city’s commitment to its water conservation program (LOTT Alliance, 2010)

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Residential Toilet Program

The LOTT organization has been giving free efficiency toilet to take the place of the ordinary versions. The new ones save a lot of water in one flush thus affecting the wise use of water technique. The organization offers a variety of technologies for the customers to choose those that fit them.

Commercial Toilet Program

For the commercial sewer customers LOTT has high efficiency toilets. This has been a good way of saving water and reducing water bills. The customers consequently get to chose between the varieties of styles available.

Free Residential Water Saving Kits

Water saving kits has been in distribution for a long time now. Olympia city has therefore joined other cities in this practice. Funded by the LOTT the kit contains many facilities and instructions for water conservation.

Wash Wise Residential Washing Machine Rebates

The city has been forefront in encouraging its citizens to switch to water saving washing machines. The target is to save up to 8 000 gallons each day. To motivate customers the city offers rebates of up to $100.

The city of Olympia works with customers of all kinds to assist in the saving of water. This goes along way into saving money for the customers through reduced water bills (Olympia 2010). The government and other institutions also play a crucial role in the whole process. The whole project involves quite a number of programs. These range from rebates, to technology and irrigation check ups. However the city has very few industrial customers. Majority of its customers include commercial residential and institutional.

Water Smart Technology

On the installation of approved water efficient fixtures customers get rebates. The project has seen the replacement of many machines with water saving versions (City of Olympia 2010).

Water Efficient Irrigation

In order to bring an end to the overuse of water during the summer for irrigation purposes, Institutions and commercial customers subscribe to irrigation system check ups. This involves an inspection of the systems of irrigation so as to conform them to acceptable standards.

High Efficiency Toilet Program

Commercial sewer customers get support from the LOTT in the installation of the high efficiency toilets. The customers have an opportunity to choose between the many versions available.

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Regulations and ordinances

Olympia has many rules regulations and ordinances in place to enhance its water conservation programs. However most information on the same cannot be accessed online thus making it difficult to state the in this paper. However the city has a number of ordinances to bring about strict observance of wise use of water and conservation.


The water conservation programs of the Olympia city are both comprehensive as well as involving. As a result the city has achieved great conservation as far as the flow and conservation of water is concerned. This is primarily due the fact that the move involves a range of projects whose implementation has carefully been selected. As a result the water and environmental future of the city lies in safe hands. The efforts of various agencies organizations and city leadership can therefore be said to be highly successful in meeting this end.


Baker, L., (2009). The Water Environment of Cities. New York: Springer.

City of Olympia (2010). Web.

Government of Olympia (2010). Web.

Lindenmayer, D., (2010). Forest Pattern and Ecological Process: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Research. Texas: CSIRO Publishing.

LOTT alliance (2010). Web.

Municipal Code Corporation (2009). Web.

Municipal Council of Olympia (2009). Web.

Olympia (2010). Web.

Sipes, J., (2010). Sustainable Solutions for Water Resources: Policies, Planning, Design, and Implementation. Washington: John Wiley and Sons.

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