Though New York City’s per capita water consumption is still well above the national average, substantial reductions have been made since the late 1980s: from more than 780 l/day/capita to 476 l/day/capita. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made such progress to date–in part–by using technology to address key factors in high water use. The DEP installed smart meters that measure the delivered water at multiple locations along the water distribution network, including the point of delivery. The meters identify the locations of leakages and furthermore enable customers to realize the impacts of their consumer habits on water use. The case study investigates the magnitude of the problem, reviews the DEP’s institutional motivations in addressing water consumption, assesses what actions in the past have resulted in substantial water use reductions, and identifies the best practices for improving water use efficiency in the future.

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