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The Hidden Reservoir - a new report looks at ways to save water on a large scale

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Although its presence in the forefront of the news has long since passed, the fact remains that the Southeast is still in a drought.

Water management in the Southeast is going to become increasingly challenging – with the future of numerous fish and mussel species hanging in the balance, and an increasing population steadily increasing water demand. In a nod toward the increasing scarcity, the non-profit American Rivers recently published a report, Hidden Reservoir: Why Water Efficiency is the Best Solution in the Southeast.

This report makes the case for focusing on increasing the efficient use of water to ensure supply, instead of building more reservoirs. They hone in on nine focus areas – stopping leaks in the infrastructure; changing rate structures to encourage conservation; metering all water users; retrofitting buildings with efficient appliances; landscaping to minimize waste; increasing public understanding of water supply issues; designing new buildings to minimize water use; creating water budgets that identify a river’s ecologically sustainable flow, how much water can be taken from a river, and priorities for using that water; and finally, involving water users in decisions. It would behoove city and county officials across the region to incorporate these ideas into their water planning to ensure the efficient and sustainable use of this precious resource.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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