Creating a Water Conservation Plan for the Community, by the Community
Dr. Rashid is passionate about water. He believes that water is the most precious natural resource, but it is often taken for granted. The amount of water available today is the same as it was 3 billion years ago; however, there are many more users of this water.
Dr. Rashid has spent his career studying the efficient use of water resources. He has instructed courses on Water Resources Engineering, Hydrology, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana. His research has focused on the regulatory and economic aspects of water conservation and best management practices for storm water management.
Dr. Rashid sees that water conservation measures are not universally practiced. The 1996 Amendments to the U.S. Federal Safe Drinking Water Act recognized the potential value of water conservation and required the U.S. EPA to publish water conservation plan guidelines. At their discretion, states may require water systems to prepare a Water Conservation Plan consistent with the guidelines. However, there was no Indiana regulation that required a water conservation effort. Consequently, there was no formal effort to conserve water in Dr. Rashid’s community of Evansville, despite the great benefits that water conservation planning could provide.
As part of his Toyota TogetherGreen Conservation Fellowship, Dr. Rashid conducted a water budget analysis looking at water consumption by Evansville residents, estimated the energy savings through water conservation, and hailed the environmental and economic benefits of water conservation through public education and outreach. Through these activities, the end result was specific water conservation goals and recommendations for the city of Evansville.