Michigan at the bottom.

At the end of April, the Alliance for Water Efficiency in partnership with the Environmental Law Institute released a draft scorecard report of state level water efficiency and conservation policies and laws. Michigan came in with a grade of D. By comparison California and Texas both scored A-, Wisconsin B-, South Carolina C-. Overall, the 50 states as a group average a “C” grade.

The report, entitled The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies, presents results from a 20-question state survey that AWE conducted in 2011, funded in part by a grant from the Turner Foundation. The draft is being released for public review and comment to ensure no laws or policies were missed during the project team’s search. The comment period ends on June 15.

In the coming weeks HRWC will review the final report with an eye toward identifying related best practices and policies from the states that are leading the nation in water efficiency and conservation efforts. While “A” states like Texas and California are dealing with more urgent water supply concerns and higher costs to pump, heat and treat, Michigan’s concerns lie in stewarding our state’s greatest asset, its abundant fresh water. These efforts are part of HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy program, funded by the Masco Corporation Foundation, which aims to show that promoting water efficiency and conservation can work as a strategy to mitigate climate change and protect our local fresh water resources.