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Water Conservation Leadership Guide: Issues for Local Officials to Consider

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This resource describes water conservation options for local agency policies and programs, water efficiency options for agency facilities, water efficiency options in the community and resources to help develop water efficiency policies and programs.

This resource describes water conservation options for local agency policies and programs, water efficiency options for agency facilities, water efficiency options in the community and resources to help develop water efficiency policies and programs.

The Water Conservation Leadership Guide: Issues for Local Officials to Consider identifies key issues local officials may consider to understand the options available to their agencies to use water more efficiently and ensure that their agencies are complying with the law. While all issue areas may not be relevant for all individual agencies, the guide offers a wide range of water conservation policies and programs to evaluate.

The guide assists local agencies, regardless of whether they provide water services directly themselves to their residents or if they are served by another water agency or supplier. Each issue area offers a “Resources to Learn More” section with links to practical “how-to” policy, technical and/or financing information. See below for a list of all the “Resources to Learn More” links referenced in the guide. Also, the publication is available at right for free download.

Resources to Learn More

Table of Contents:

Institute for Local Government Resources

Institute for Local Government’s Climate Change Program: Information about resources and best practices to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action & Sustainability Best Practices Framework www.ca-ilg.org/climatepractices

Climate Action & Sustainability Water and Waste Water Page www.ca-ilg.org/water

Using Water Efficiently in Agency Facilities and Operations

Institute for Local Government’s Climate Change Program: Information about resources and best practices to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Be Waterwise”: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s website includes useful information for local agency operations.

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) – Water Use Efficiency: Links to water conservation tips and information from the DWR.

California Urban Water Conservation Council Best Management Practices for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional: The California Urban Water Conservation Council has developed Best Management Practices to integrate urban water conservation into the planning and management of California’s water resources for commercial, industrial and institutional water users.

California Water Association: The website provides information on sharing Best Management Practices, water policy legislation, and information for the pubic on the protection, and efficient use of water resources.

Urban Water Conservation Law (“20 x 2020″): Information about California’s urban water conservation law known as “20 by 2020,” including analyses by the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use.

Replace Existing Appliances and Fixtures with Water-Efficient Ones

U.S. EPA WaterSense Water Conservation Program: Allows consumers to find products with the WaterSense label. The program makes it easy for consumers to save water and protect the environment by purchasing products with the WaterSense label.

Save our Water: Additional information on how to save water in California.

Comprehensive list of water districts in California: Your local water agency is a great resource for more water-saving ideas, rebates and other information that is specific to your area.

FlexYourPower.com: Includes links to information about rebates on water (and energy) saving appliances.

Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency: Rebate information on the installation of residential water efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use.

Using Drought Tolerant Plants in Agency Parks, Medians and Landscaping

University of California Cooperative Extension: A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California.

California Urban Water Conservation Council Best Management Practices for Landscaping: The California Urban Water Conservation Council has developed Best Management Practices for landscaping water use.

Santa Clara Valley Water District: Guide and information on water-wise gardening.

Environmental Protection Agency: A report that provides an overview on water-efficient landscaping.

California Landscape Contractors Association: Useful information about water efficient landscaping techniques.

Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency: Information on water wise gardening.

Our Water – Our World: Information to assist consumers in managing home and garden pests.

California Invasive Plant Council: Information and recommendations on California invasive plant materials.

California Department of Water Resources: A brochure that highlights important irrigation controller features that allow for proper irrigation scheduling.

California Department of Water Resources: General information on water-efficient landscapes.

California Department of Water Resources: Water use efficiency ideas for residential landscapes.

Smart from the Start: A California water conservation program that provides user-friendly tools and landscape templates to assist new homeowners and developers design and install beautiful, water-smart landscapes.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use.

Using Recycled Water for Agency Parks, Medians and Landscaping

Department of Water Resources: Information on recycled water, with links to several useful resources on the process of treating wastewater, storing, distributing, and using the recycled water.

WaterReuse California: Information on water reuse facilities and desalination, especially WaterReuse publications.

Recycled Water Use Manual: The Los Angeles County Chapter of the WaterReuse Association’s publication, Recycled Water Urban Irrigation User’s Manual, provides general rules, regulations, and guidelines regarding the safe introduction and use of recycled water for landscape irrigation in Los Angeles County and other areas in California.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use.

Updated Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance for the Community

California Department of Water Resources: Examples of water efficient landscape ordinances adopted by local agencies.

California Department of Water Resources: Provides information on California’s water efficient landscape ordinance local agencies must adopt.

Orange County Division of League of California Cities Model Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance: Offers shorter alternative to DWR’s water efficient landscaping model ordinance.

Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency: Provides information and ordinances related to water conservation.

A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California: Guide for calculating landscaping water needs and water needs for specific types of plants.

Smart from the Start: A California water conservation program that provides user-friendly tools and landscape templates to assist new homeowners and developers design and install beautiful, water-smart landscapes.

Santa Clara Valley Water District: Rules of Thumb for Water-Wise Gardening publication can assist local governments in determining what types of landscaping to use at agency facilities.

Regional Water Authority: Water-Wise Gardening in the Gold Country Region publication can assist local governments in determining what types of landscaping to use at agency facilities.

Principles and Practices of Bay-Friendly Landscaping: Bay-Friendly Landscaping provides the professional landscaping industry with an integrated approach to environmentally-friendly landscaping. Prepared by StopWaste.org in Alameda County.

Department of Water Resources list of local agencies with their own water efficient landscape ordinance.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use, including ideas that can be included in a local water conservation ordinance.

Design Criteria to Reduce Runoff and Promote Groundwater Recharge

Ahwahnee Water Principals for Resource Efficient Land Use: There are a number of stewardship actions that cities and counties can take that reduce costs and improve the reliability and quality of our water resources.

Achieving Sustainable Site Design Through Low Impact Development Practices: Provides an overview of low-impact development concepts related to water.

U.S. E.P.A.: Provides information on low impact development.

Natural Resources Defense Council: A discussion of low impact development practices, plus case stories.

Dual Plumbing for Recycled Water in New Commercial or Residential Projects

Department of Water Resources: Information on recycled water, with links to several useful resources on the process of treating wastewater, storing, distributing, and using the recycled water.

WaterReuse California: Information on water reuse facilities and desalination.

CoolCalifornia.org: The website provides suggestions for how local governments can reduce water use.

Green Building Standards that Include Water Efficiency Requirements

Institute’s Climate Change Program: Provides information on resources and case stories about local agencies adopting green building ordinances and programs.

California’s new green building code: Provides information about California’s new green building code. Chapter 6, beginning on page 29, covers indoor and outdoor water conservation.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Rating Systems: LEED provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Build It Green: Build It Green is a non-profit membership organization providing green building guidelines and rating systems (such as the GreenPoint Rated home rating system).

California Green Builder: This program of the non-profit Building Industry Institute provides guidelines and certification systems to build cost-effective, green homes that address energy efficiency, indoor air quality and comfort, on-site waste recycling, and water and wood conservation.

Food Service Technology Center: Information on energy efficiency in food service.

Water Audits for Commercial and Residential Property

Institute’s Climate Change Program: Provides information on resources and case stories about local agencies that include retrofit requirements at point of sale as part of their green building ordinances.

California Department of Water Resources: Provides information from on where to find providers that conduct water efficiency audits.

Installing Water Conservation Devices in Existing Residential and Commercial Buildings

California Urban Water Conservation Council Best Management Practices for Residential Water Users: The California Urban Water Conservation Council has developed Best Management Practices for planning and management of residential water users.

California Urban Water Conservation Council Best Management Practices for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional: The California Urban Water Conservation Council has developed Best Management Practices to integrate urban water conservation into the planning and management for commercial, industrial and institutional water users.

Comprehensive list of water districts in California:
Your local water agency is a great resource for more water-saving ideas, rebates and other information that is specific to your area.

The guide was prepared with generous financial and technical support from the law firm of Hanson Bridgett.

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