01 Jun 2015

Alleviating the Impact of California’s Water Reduction Mandate

Conserve-WaterCalifornia has always been subject to periodic droughts, but the past few years have been logged as some of the driest years on record. As recently reported by USA Today, two-thirds of the state remains in extreme drought as we head into the dry season.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s mandate to reduce water use by 25% will go into effect this June 1, 2015. While there are a number of potential measures in the works to alleviate the impact, the reality is that commercial properties must find effective ways to reduce water consumption… quickly.

Commercial real estate landscaping and indoor water consumption account for 2.5 percent of all state water use, according to a JLL report. Thus, building owners and operators in California will face significant implications unless an alternative is identified.

“We have all been challenged to understand the urgency of the situation and its impact on our properties,” says Coreland Companies’ Regional Real Estate Manager Sharon Shifflett. “It is most important to first identify the best strategy for each property―to initiate efforts all at once or phase them in. We have to start by identifying what’s feasible, fundable and cost-effective.”

The ValleyCrest Water Management Blog series identifies some of the top ways to conserve water and improve the efficiency of irrigation systems:

  • Use Drought Tolerant or Native Plants: Choosing the ‘right’ plant for the ‘right’ place is one of the most important considerations.
  • Install Flow Sensors: Flow sensors are affordable devices that can be installed to detect and automatically shut down the irrigation system when breaks, malfunctions or vandalism occurs.
  • Consider High-Efficiency Nozzles or Pressure Regulation: High-efficiency nozzles coupled with pressure regulated sprinklers can improve efficiency by 20%.
  • Fix Leaks: Always investigate further if you see and signs on your property of poor drainage or irrigation leaks.
  • Detect and Avoid Runoff: Parking lot stains and moss in gutters or trees are three good signs that your property is being over watered.

Beyond the implementation of water conservation systems, many state water agencies have extended and increased water conservation rebate programs. As shared by Valley Crest, rebates have also increased for water-wise irrigation hardware as mentioned above.  The key is to start addressing the low-hanging fruit… now.