Cobb County is one of the largest counties in Metropolitan Atlanta. We have frequent and recurring drought issues. We have legal challenges from our neighboring states for the use of and further development of water resources on either of the two contested river basins. Our system has approximately 650,000 residents to reach with innovative and varied water efficiency initiatives including: toilet rebates, indoor and outdoor self-audits, indoor and outdoor retrofit kit distribution, children’s contests, civic and school programs, shower head and aerator give aways, leak detection, conservation pricing, and a comprehensive outdoor water use initiative. For Cobb County this is particularly essential because our entire water supply is dependent upon the two basins that are in dispute with our neighbors.
The leadership by county officials to make conservation a first step and priority issue, regardless of climate conditions is very unique in the region. Our County leadership has had a very visionary approach to resource management and saw the need for comprehensive conservation before the drought of 2006-2009. Cobb views efficiency and conservation not as the total answer to our resource challenges but as a very essential and cost-effective component.
The commitment to water efficiency is truly a top down effort and the entire county is involved. Cobb Water System truly embraces the message and need for efficiency in all of our relevant policy and rate making so it is in the DNA of the organization not just a citizen based education program.
Our desire to collaborate with other stakeholders: landscapers, irrigation contractors, plumbers, retailers, the business community, developers, realtors, property managers, teachers, Home Owners Associations, and civic groups has given a very high level of consistency to the message and increased the reach. Cobb County Water System also enjoys a broad level of support because of consulting with and receiving assistance from these entities on issues that affect them and use their expertise to improve programs.