Water Authority board endorses Water Conservation Summit report

Short Title
Water Authority board endorses Water Conservation Summit report
Water Authority to take lead in development of long-range conservation plan
December 01, 2006

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors has endorsed a water conservation white paper outlining the challenges and strategies of increasing the amount of water saved through conservation in San Diego County. The post-summit white paper, developed from the Water Conservation Summit held Sept. 29, 2006, will serve as the strategic vision of outdoor water conservation in the Water Authority’s service area for the next five years. To view the Post-Summit Water Conservation white paper, go to: Summit White Paper or: www.waterconservationsummit.com

The goal of the summit was to develop an action plan to achieve the 2030 water conservation goal of saving 100,000 acre-feet of water annually through conservation. The summit participants included water officials, environmentalists, planners and landscapers.

“The Water Conservation Summit was a historic event for San Diego County that will have positive impacts far into the future,” said summit Chairman Mark Weston, general manager of the Helix Water District. “We will now move forward with the development of the plan to implement the recommendations that came from the summit participants.”

The Board voted to have Water Authority staff prepare a comprehensive strategic water conservation plan for the board’s consideration in early 2007. The plan will include the white paper recommendations, aspects of the Water Authority’s existing conservation programs and the staff and budget resources needed for implementation. The white paper and subsequent strategic plan focuses on six strategies:
    •    Enactment of a water-efficient landscaping ordinance for San Diego County by 2010.
    •    Development of an industry cluster to bring water- efficient landscape products, plants and services to the market is essential to implementing landscape conservation.
    •    Creation of a professional landscaper certification program that customers can recognize and trust.
    •    Creation of a public outreach plan to bring water efficient landscape products and services to the market and to change the public’s perception of approaches to landscaping.
    •    Consideration of various financial incentives to motivate customers and industry to install water- efficient landscaping.
    •    Planning of a 2007 summit to celebrate and share the successes of the previous year and keep the water conservation effort moving forward.

Implementation of the white paper recommendations will include the joint efforts of the Water Authority, it's member agencies, the Water Conservation Garden, the landscape industry, planning agencies and the building industry in San Diego County.
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