As water utilities across the nation—and around the world—grapple with the consequences of climate change, we must continue to identify opportunities to ensure the resiliency and reliability of our water supply system.
Reducing water demand benefits our water supply system and New York City at large by increasing flexibility in our operations, reducing our energy footprint and greenhouse gas emissions (from treating less drinking water and wastewater), and keeping water bills affordable.
For information on how to make your home, hotel or restaurant more water efficient, visit Water Saving Tips.
Water Demand Management Program
The Water Demand Management Program identified six key strategies for managing water demand in New York City, and detailed specific initiatives that were implemented between 2013 and 2023 to achieve targeted water demand reductions. Through this program we surpassed our water savings goal of 20 MGD, reaching a total of 22 MGD in savings! To learn how we surpassed our goal, check out our One Water NYC: 2023 Water Demand Management Plan. In this report we explore how we can integrate a One Water NYC approach into our demand management, reuse and water conservation work moving forward.
To view our conservation reports from previous years, visit our Document Portal and search for “demand.”
Water Conservation and Reuse Grants and Rate Discounts
To incentivize water savings on private property, we have grants for water efficiency projects at commercial, industrial and multi-family residential properties that include conventional fixture retrofits and/or innovative water saving technologies, such as on-site water reuse.
Learn more about the Water Conservation and Reuse Grants and Rate Discounts.
Repairing Leaks in the Water System
DEP has a large service area with 7,000 miles of pipes that distribute water to end users. As water travels through these underground pipes, undetected leaks can occur, and therefore constant maintenance, leak detection, and metering optimization is key to efficient management of water supply. DEP has a system of pressure management zones that are crucial for properly operating the system. Pressure management can help reduce leaks by reducing the amount and severity of water main breaks.
Automated meter reading device infrastructure covers over 97 percent of DEP’s customer base. This technology enables customers to view and manage their water consumption on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis and provides an accurate depiction of water use across the city. Customers can access their water consumption data through their My DEP Account. This gives customers the opportunity to address Leaks and proactively increase water efficiency in their homes.
Preparing for Droughts
Over the past 75 years, New York City has experienced nine drought periods of record, the most severe of which occurred prior to the 1980s.
Beyond infrastructure upgrades and programs that promote near-term savings, DEP has revised its drought management rules, now known as the Water Shortage Rules, to properly manage its water supply in the event of water shortage during infrastructure repairs, or droughts.