Enhancing outreach to homeowners' associations on how to save water and changing the public's perceptions of how recycled water can be used are among the key provisions in a water conservation white paper released by the San Diego County Water Authority.
The white paper summarizes input from participants in the 2007 Water Conservation Summit, and it recommends actions to advance key provisions of the Water Authority's Blueprint for Water Conservation. (Post Summit White Paper and the Blueprint are available at: www.waterconservationsummit.com.
"The stakeholders from our region have made it clear that they are ready for the Water Authority to start implementing the recommendations from the 2006 and 2007 summits," said Water Authority Board Chair Fern Steiner. "Implementing these recommendations will help us achieve substantial, long-range water savings that are crucial to meeting the future water supply needs of our region's 3 million residents and $157 million economy."
The white paper recommends planning several half- day "how to" sessions on improving landscape water use efficiency. These "how to" outreach and education sessions would target homeowners association (HOA) management companies and boards, landscape contractors, landscape architects, and irrigation suppliers to inform HOAs on how they can participate in financial incentive programs, and implement landscape water-saving techniques. The first of these HOA sessions is April 4, 2008 at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College.
Another key focus area is to increase recycled water use in San Diego County. The white paper also recommends efforts to increase public understanding and appreciation of the value and need for recycled water to help support San Diego's regional water supply reliability.
Other areas addressed in the white paper include more public education and promotion of water-wise landscaping and the development of a "brand" to increase consumer awareness and demand for outdoor landscape conservation. The document also calls for increasing water and energy partnerships by highlighting the connection between saving water and saving energy, and the development of a water and energy incentive program that assists customers in achieving water and energy savings.
In 2007, the Water Authority and its member agencies conserved a record 52,819 acre-feet of water through its legacy of water conservation programs. Since 1990, more than 470,000 acre-feet of water has been saved through conservation efforts. The Water Authority's goal is to increase water savings to 94,000 acre-feet annually by 2020.
The second Water Conservation Summit, hosted by the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies, was held on October 12, 2007, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. The Blueprint, approved by the Water Authority's Board in July 2007, serves as a roadmap for creating and implementing new, long- range residential and commercial water conservation programs across the San Diego region. It stems from strategies developed jointly by water, business and community leaders at the region's inaugural Water Conservation Summit in September 2006.
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