Hi {{ session.user.profile.firstName }}

Efficient Water Management

  • Date
  • Rating
  • Views
  • More than two-thirds of the Bay Area’s water is imported from outside the region. Today these supplies are regularly threatened by drought, earthquakes, water quality impairments and new regulations on availability and usage — risks that will intensify with future climate change. Meanwhile, our region of 7 million people will add 2 million more by 2040. Do we have the water we need to support our projected population growth? And what are the most sustainable and reliable ways to supply our future water needs?

    SPUR's report Future-Proof Water, presented by Laura Tam, analyzes the Bay Area’s current water supplies and future growth projections, then recommends the best tools for meeting our water needs — both in the near term and through the end of the century.

    The Governor’s California Water Action Plan (CWAP) released in January 2014 is a five-year plan outlining the ten central actions towards a sustainable water management. In January 2015, California Natural Resources Agency, California EPA and Department of Food and Agriculture released the CWAP Implementation Report, which highlights achievements to date and outlines activities for the next four years. Manucher Alemi will provide an overview of the CWAP and the Proposition 1 to achieve sustainable water management along with DWR’s roles, including expanding water conservation and water use efficiency.
  • Onsite water resources including rainwater catchment and greywater can be used to decrease or eliminate net water demand of commercial and residential developments. Integrated design incorporating smart water-efficient landscape design with water re-use systems result in "Closed Loop Design". New practices such as bringing rainwater into the house for domestic, non-potable use and using grey water to irrigate landscapes with native and drought tolerant plants with innovative irrigation techniques, may be the future of development in California and beyond as water resources become more scarce and unreliable.
  • Ken Baerenklau will present the results of a study conducted at UC Riverside that examined the effects of switching from uniform to budget-based rates in the Eastern Municipal Water District of Southern California. The study utilized ten years of monthly water bills for 12,000 customers in EMWD’s service area to calibrate a household water demand model and then estimate the effects of the budget-based rate structure on water demand after controlling for average price level, weather, and income. The rate structure appears to have reduced demand by 10-15% primarily by causing previously inefficient households to become more efficient.

    The second presentation, by Tim Barr, Western’s Deputy Director of Water Resources, will outline the Western Municipal Water District implementation of a water budget-based rate structure for its retail water customers. Western’s unique approach uses real-time, microzone-specific, evapotranspiration data and modified monthly turfgrass coefficients from UC research to calculate accurate landscape water budgets on a daily basis. Western’s finance and water efficiency staff collaborated with rate and horticultural consultants to develop a structure that safeguards the financial integrity of the District, provides each unique customer with the water they need, and sends appropriate pricing signals based on efficient water use with every water service bill. In 2015, Western linked the rate structure and the District’s shortage contingency program in anticipation of reduced water supplies due to statewide drought.
  • The Stanford University water conservation project is a collaboration between Stanford and FishNick and it all started at the 2014 Annual PG&E water showcase! The goal of this project is to establish baseline water and energy use for old dishwashers in large kitchens and also to identify operational changes that can easily be implemented to improve efficiency of water and energy use by kitchen staff.

    In our presentation we will review: elements needed for setting up this project, site selection, and analysis of metering and temperature data from the old and new dishwasher and kitchen processes in a large university kitchen. The data collected by FishNick is used to establish the baseline water and energy use for old inefficient equipment. By reviewing the kitchen operations and understanding staff needs and actions, additional kitchen equipment, maintenance, and efficiency improvements will be implemented. Comparing the water and energy use for the baseline conditions with consumption after the new equipment and processes are in place, helps quantify the potential for water and energy savings and a simple payback for equipment costs.
  • California Bay Area weather is some of the most difficult to predict across the United States due to microclimates and complex topography, yet the National Weather Service and emergency management agencies seldom are required to issue severe weather-related warnings. When moisture deficit is not on everyone’s minds, California weather is like a soldier’s life: 99% boredom and 1% panic. Infrequent so-called ‘atmospheric river’ events are the primary driver behind flooding-related hazards along the central CA coast and Bay Area, and also play a leading role in our state’s water supply. In contrast, during times of water shortage, the forecasting challenges remain while the continual emergency of drought persists over years. The National Weather Service, as part of NOAA, implements a Hydrology Program at a local level for water-related decision support and teams with other local, regional, and national resource agencies to provide information pertaining to both flooding and drought.

    This presentation will provide an introduction to the National Weather Service: where we’re located, what we do, and how we partner with agencies, the media, and our customer base (local citizens). We’ll also discuss how both flooding and drought are monitored and predicted, and what data and tools are publicly available that may be used as a catalyst for wise green building design that affords hazard resilience. A modicum of discussion on what the future climate portends for Bay Area water balance will also be provided.
  • How actively are California’s green buildings addressing water conservation and management? What can we do to catalyze an even greater focus on the state’s top environmental priority in these buildings? New research reveals insights from 1,300+ LEED-certified buildings in California and offers new approaches to leverage buildings as part of the solution to the current water crisis.

    Sierra Business Council's Water Energy Nexus Study analyzes the potential to increase energy and water savings by improving the operational efficiency of several small to intermediate sized, Sierra foothill water agencies/districts with a focus on minimizing water losses and improving pumping efficiency.
  • Eileen Kelly, Dig Your Garden Landscape Design, will discuss a variety of landscape design alternatives to replace or minimize the traditional lawn such as no-mow grasses, hardscape materials (gravel, decomposed granite, natural stone, boulders, mulch, and sculpture), and eco-friendly strategies such as “sheet mulching” to quickly eradicate the lawn.

    For over ten years, East Bay Municipal Utility District has offered rebates for converting ornamental lawn to sustainable landscaping. Hear Michael Hazinski provide a water utility perspective on the trends in consumer acceptance of sustainable landscaping and a comprehensive approach to implementing landscape water conservation incentives.

    Jodie Sheffield, Sod Development Expert from Delta Bluegrass Company will introduce you to their water saving California Native Sod products. The presentation and discussion will focus on: how to choose the right native sod for your project, water wise irrigation management, and how to maintain native sod.
  • Stormwater professionals have been studying stormwater control measures for decades, and foresters have been studying and growing urban trees for centuries. But the practice of combining the two to use trees as a Stormwater Control Measure is in its infancy. Recent results showing water quality benefits for urban tree/soil systems equal to and surpassing that of many traditional bioretention systems will be presented. As research is rapidly discovering ways to enhance performance of bioretention and urban tree/soil systems, this presentation will also highlight some of the most promising new developments, such as, for example, use of various soil amendments to enhance water quality performance, as well as design strategies to maximize stormwater volume and water quality benefits.
  • 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.

Embed in website or blog