Metropolitan and its member agencies have long been leaders in water conservation, which continues to be a key component in water resource management in Southern California.
Water-use efficiency is encouraged with financial incentives such as rebates, outreach and education programs, research and development of new technologies, and support for new plumbing codes and other regulations that facilitate water-saving programs.
In 2009, at the urging of Metropolitan and its member agencies, the California Legislature mandated urban retail water providers achieve a 20 percent per-capita reduction in water use by the year 2020. To meet this goal, Metropolitan's Board of Directors adopted a Long-Term Conservation Plan
, developed in collaboration with its member agencies, retail agencies and other stakeholders. The plan outlines goals and strategies to reduce per capita water use through conservation and water use efficiency. It seeks to create lasting changes in consumer values, behaviors and preferences for water-efficient technologies, processes, services and design approaches.
Recent state legislation has established new goals for water conservation and drought planning. SB 606 and AB 1668
establish guidelines for efficient water use and a framework for the implementation and oversight of the new standards. Metropolitan's rebates and incentives are a key component for its members and retail agencies to meet future state standards for water use efficiency.
Metropolitan's conservation programs focus on two main areas: residential and commercial water use. Residential
Within the residential conservation program there are two targeted efforts: SoCalWater$mart
for residential customers and programs implemented by member agencies.
Some of the examples of water-saving devices and programs that contribute to conservation include:
•High-efficiency clothes washers
•Turf replacement (with lower water-use plants)
•Soil moisture sensors for irrigation controllers
•Rotating nozzles for sprinklers
•Weather-based irrigation controllers Commercial
Metropolitan's commercial programs provide rebates to businesses and institutions for water-saving device replacements. Similar to the residential conservation program, there are three options: SoCalWater$mart rebates, the Water Savings Incentive Program (a customized, pay-for-performance incentive), and member agency commercial programs.
Examples of water-saving devices and equipment used in the commercial sector include:
- Connectionless food steamers and air-cooled ice machines
- Cooling tower conductivity meter
- Dry vacuum pump
- High-efficiency toilets and urinals
- Turf replacement (with lower water-use plants)
- Zero water urinal
- pH cooling tower controller
- Weather-based irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensor systems
- Ultra-low-flush urinals
- Large high-efficiency rotary sprinkler nozzles
- Multi-steam rotating sprinkler nozzles
In addition to residential and commercial rebates, Metropolitan provides incentives for ongoing research and for innovations in water use efficiency. Regional Progress Report: Achievements in Conservation, Recycling and Groundwater Recharge