Efficient Water Management

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Responsible Resource and Facility Management

Water and energy are quickly becoming some of the world’s most valuable and sought after commodities. These webcasts will feature live presentations by scientists, academics, and business leaders addressing the increasingly important issue of energy and water management. For businesses, efficiency will cut costs and promote environmental awareness, and for all, this summit will provide insight into best practices, tips, case studies, and solutions for responsible resource and facility management.

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Water Conservation in the Landscape: A Case Study Panel This session will showcase the work of two innovative Bay Area design firms and demonstrate water conservation strategies at a range of scales-from broad-level planning and analysis through detailed landscape design and construction. We will look at recently completed projects as case studies for watershed management solutions that are at once beautiful and functional, and provide quantifiable benefits demonstrating water reduction, cost savings, and ecological improvements. Results from original research and prototype testing will be shared. Implementation strategies include stormwater management, plant and material selection, greywater systems, living roofs, water recycling, and irrigation best practices. Read more >
Mar 25 2014
30 mins
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  • This session will showcase the work of two innovative Bay Area design firms and demonstrate water conservation strategies at a range of scales-from broad-level planning and analysis through detailed landscape design and construction. We will look at recently completed projects as case studies for watershed management solutions that are at once beautiful and functional, and provide quantifiable benefits demonstrating water reduction, cost savings, and ecological improvements. Results from original research and prototype testing will be shared. Implementation strategies include stormwater management, plant and material selection, greywater systems, living roofs, water recycling, and irrigation best practices.
  • How does long-term use of greywater affect the soil? Do households reduce water consumption after installing a greywater system? How much maintenance is required? Find out the results of a comprehensive study of 83 greywater systems in California. We monitored the effects of greywater systems on soil, plant health, quality of irrigation water, household water consumption, as well as user satisfaction and maintenance. We will offer recommendations for future system design and installation based on the results of the study.
  • This panel presentation will explore recently-completed work by Affiliated Engineers Inc. and Sherwood Design Engineers with a focus on projects at large institutions including Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Panelists will establish that water use reduction is cost effective even in locations without drought conditions and with moderately priced water and sewer services. Panelists will also prove the viability of water-focused ecodistricts and acknowledge that client commitment to long-term water sustainability, backed by sound economics, can guide future development. Case study examples will include university campus projects, a research building, a hospital and a former Marine Corps Air Station.
  • Many consider the current drought in California the worst since precipitation record keeping began over a hundred years ago. With the federal government declaring 27 California counties as “Natural Disaster Areas”, water districts are in a crisis mode. This panel discussion will include presentations by some of the largest and most progressive water utilities in Northern California: Contra Costa Water District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Napa County, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Zone 7 Water Agency. Each panelist will describe the water supply outlook for their district and outline the key activities they are pursuing to reduce water use.
  • Humans have been concerned over water and water supplies since agriculture and stock raising began some 10,000 years ago. What do we know about about droughts in the past and how did ancient societies handle them? Brian Fagan, an archaeologist, looks at examples from western North America and describes what we know about medieval droughts in California and their relevance to today’s water concerns. In what ways are we more vulnerable than those who lived through California droughts a thousand years ago? What fundamental differences are there between human relationships with water in the past and today?
  • Coordinating water-energy efficiency efforts provide a significant opportunity to achieve greater savings for both water and energy utilities. In particular, jointly run end-use water and energy efficiency programs have a huge potential to save energy and water at the home and at the supply source. Yet, coordinated programs face a number of challenges. In this panel, we will describe some of these challenges and how to overcome them. Panelists will include a researcher, a water specialist who has worked on the “Watts to Water” program and PG&E program managers for agricultural irrigation, clothes washers, and commercial kitchens.
  • This session was conceived as a way to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of the Water Conservation Showcase and will be structured as a panel discussion. The intention of the session is to take a quick look back at the status of water conservation from ten years ago when the first showcase was held, consider some of the most successful conservation efforts that are active today and explore how utilities will address water management in the future. The presentation will focus on current and emerging approaches toward providing water management services and tools to assist water customers in managing their own water use. These tools are applicable to existing customers as well as new development to maximize cost-effective water efficiency benefits.

    The panelists are from four of the most innovative and ambitious water utilities in California: Julie Ortiz of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Richard Harris of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Bill McDonald of the Metropolitan Water District, and Chris Dundon of the Contra Costa Water District. Each panelist will provide a brief presentation on their perspective of the past, present and future of water conservation. The bulk of the session will be set aside for what promises to be a lively discussion.
  • It is zero hour for a new US water policy! At a time when many countries are adopting new national approaches to water management, the United States still has no cohesive federal policy, and water-related authorities are dispersed across more than 30 agencies. Here, at last, is a vision for what we as a nation need to do to manage our most vital resource. In this book, leading thinkers at world-class water research institution the Pacific Institute present clear and readable analysis and recommendations for a new federal water policy to confront our national and global challenges at a critical time.

    What exactly is at stake? In the 21st century, pressures on water resources in the United States are growing and conflicts among water users are worsening. Communities continue to struggle to meet water quality standards and to ensure that safe drinking water is available for all. And new challenges are arising as climate change and extreme events worsen, new water quality threats materialize, and financial constraints grow. Yet the United States has not stepped up with adequate leadership to address these problems.

    The inability of national policymakers to safeguard our water makes the United States increasingly vulnerable to serious disruptions of something most of us take for granted: affordable, reliable, and safe water. This book provides an independent assessment of water issues and water management in the United States, addressing emerging and persistent water challenges from the perspectives of science, public policy, environmental justice, economics, and law. With fascinating case studies and first-person accounts of what helps and hinders good water management, this is a clear-eyed look at what we need for a 21st century U.S. water policy.
  • This session will focus on the completed projects of two design firms. These case studies will highlight the innovative solutions that both firms deploy in their efforts to reduce fresh water use and waste-water run-off. The panelists are Lisa Petterson of SERA Architects Inc. and Jeffrey Miller of Miller Company Landscape Architects. The specific projects they will present are described below. Each panelist will share how water conservation measures where achieved in their projects, the measured impact of these solutions and lessons-learned that impacted their future work. The session will end with questions from attendees.

    In 2008, SERA Architects was commissioned to design a high-rise multi-family development to meet the then newly released Living Building Challenge Standard. The team recognized that Net Zero Water would be particularly challenging due to the water needs of a residential building. We applied for a grant to identify regulatory barriers project teams would face when creating Living Buildings. In the undertaking, we found ourselves doing more than just identifying barriers. Ultimately the team’s work resulted in passage of three alternate methods to the state building code and a house bill which legalized the use of rainwater and graywater in Oregon. As a result of these policy changes, the team is celebrating completion of one of the largest rainwater collection projects in Oregon and is now designing what will be one of the largest rainwater-to-potable systems ever built.

    Miller Company Landscape Architects is an award-winning landscape architecture firm located in San Francisco. Case study projects illustrated in this presentation include over 20 green school yards the firm has designed and built in San Francisco. These projects include independent and public schools commissioned by SFUSD, SFPUC and include edible and native gardens, rainwater catchment systems and educational components.
  • The first portion of the session will be a presentation of the results of a joint ACEEE/AWE Report, Tackling the Nexus: Exemplary Programs that Save Both Energy and Water, which identifies and recognizes the most successful programs that seek both energy and water savings, and chronicles these programs so that others can learn from them. The results of this research include case studies of each award winning programs and an overall synthesis and discussion of the research, including key common characteristics of the best practice programs, recommendations for successful programs, and useful lessons learned. It presents best practice ideas and lessons learned for next-generation customer energy and water efficiency programs, along with concrete examples of successful program implementation. This session will cover the water-energy nexus, the methodology of the report, the winning programs and best practice results and challenges discovered from the research.

    The second portion of the session will be presented by Joe Castro. Joe is one of the winning program administrators and will present on the details of his program, The City of Boulder Colorado's Energy Performance Contracting Program, including the motivation for creating the program, program design, program performance and lessons learned.

    The third portion of the session will be presented by Loraine White. Loraine was an expert panelist and helped determine the winning programs that were included in the report described above. Loraine will speak to the water-energy nexus in greater detail and draw on her years of work in this field and expertise.

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