We welcome guest blogger Joni German, Assistant Water Resources Specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority who shares these great insights.
In San Diego County, summer weather typically ends in October and spring starts in February, which means more warm, sunny weekends than anywhere else in the country for riding our beloved longboards, horses and Harleys.
Our Mediterranean climate occurs in just six places on the planet – on the western edges of continents, between 30 degrees and 40 degrees latitude, north and south of the equator. This is the sweet spot where you find California and the Mediterranean Basin – think Provence and Tuscany – in the northern hemisphere, and Santiago, Cape Town and Perth in the Southern Hemisphere.
Life’s fun when it only rains 42 days a year, but that little bit of rain doesn’t produce enough water to sustain more than three million people who live here or our growing economy.
The San Diego County Water Authority began importing water in the 1940s and diversifying its water supply resources in the 1990s. Water-use efficiency is also vitally important because it reduces demand for other water resources. We call it being WaterSmart.
Here are four reasons we all need to be WaterSmart.
Reason No. 1: A Changing Climate
After three straight dry winters, California’s water supplies are stretched thin. Thanks to long-term investments in water supplies and a regional commitment to water conservation, San Diego County is in better shape than many parts of the state. But it’s still important that we do our part to save water so we can keep more supplies in storage in case dry conditions continue.
Reason No. 2: Where Our Water Goes
The water savings potential of individual commercial projects helps our businesses, agriculture, and institutions achieve their efficiency goals. California is a recognized leader in water resource management and the support of water-efficient technologies. These efforts help maintain our region’s healthy economy and improve water supply reliability.
Reason No. 3: Other Businesses Are Doing Their Part
Manufacturers are developing innovative products that use less water, growers are propagating low- water-use plants, and retailers are stocking more water-efficient options for consumers. Cities in San Diego County are building Green Streets with permeable pavement and vegetated swales that soak up stormwater, restore groundwater and minimize water pollution. The California Green Building Standards Code, enacted in 2011, and local building permits require developers to install water-efficient fixtures and landscapes in new homes and buildings. Last year, businesses in the San Diego region installed more than 27,000 water saving devices that help them save money while being more efficient with their water.
Reason No. 4: WaterSmart Is Business Friendly
Businesses have a special opportunity to enhance our region’s WaterSmart culture. Adopting water-efficient practices indoors and outdoors can help the bottom line and demonstrate an organization’s dedication to the wise use of natural resources to its customers and employees.
What You Can Do
As an owner or manager of a business, you want to do your part to save water, but you’ve also got to make your budget balance. The San Diego County Water Authority offers a number of water-saving programs that can help businesses do both. These programs are designed to achieve water savings through audits, device retrofits and water-efficient landscaping practices. Check with your local water provider to see if these and other programs are available in your area.
Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Rebate Program
Fitness Center Program Incentives
High-Efficiency Toilet Rebates
Landscape Irrigation Survey
On-Site Retrofit Pilot Program
Water Savings Incentive Program
Landscape Efficiency Program
Turf Replacement Rebate Program