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California cuts water use, in ways small and large

In January, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a water emergency and asked everyone from residents to state agencies to cut water use by 20 percent. What follows is a sample of efforts state agencies are undertaking to comply. Department or Agency                                                                              Unit    Location   Timeframe                                                                                         Action                                                                                                               Projected Savings                                                                                                                   Notes Dept. of Food and Agriculture                                                        Sonoma-Marin Fair    Petaluma  0-3 months  Evaluate sprinkler and irrigation pipes and valves to assure no leakage. Repair if necessary.                                                                                                                                                                  Possible loss of fair rentals due to lack of attractiveness; estimated cost: $300,000+ Dept. of Housing and Community Development                                    Art Ochoa Migrant Center      Gilroy  0-3 months                                                              Install drought resistant plants.                                                                                                Requires less water to maintain.                                                                                                                        California African American Museum                                             African American Museum Los Angeles  0-3 months                                    Reduced exterior irrigation by 20 percent in February 2014.                                                                                                                                                                   Foresee possible loss of plantings - although many of plants are arid climate plants. California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)                    Lincoln Plaza Headquarters  Sacramento  0-3 months              Modify irrigation schedule to two days per week and reduce overall watering time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   May result in loss of plant material. Dept. of Transportation (CalTrans)                                                                      State-wide 3-24 months                                          Install mulch to portions of highway landscape areas.                                                                      Reduces weed growth and increased soil moisture retention.                                                                 Estimated cost: $1.8 million for 15,000 acres of mulch. Dept. of Parks and Recreation                                                                           State-wide 3-24 months                                         Repair water distribution systems and storage systems.                                   Leaks in distribution and storage systems account for large volumes of wasted water annually.                                                    Estimated cost: $10 to $15 million annually, recurring for 10 years. Dept. of Education, State Special Schools & Services Division           California School for the Deaf     Fremont  0-3 months                                                            Locate water leak in school's pool.                                                                                                                                                                  Received three bids from vendors; pool is used for swimming lessons for deaf students. Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation                                            Avenal State Prison      Avenal 3-24 months                        Replace hydronic loop (part of the heating system). Replace steam pipe. This institution currently uses 64,332 gallons of makeup water per day due to water leaks totaling 23,481,200 gallons per year.                                                                                                                        Dept. of State Hospitals                                                           Napa State Hospital        Napa 3-24 months                                      Hired plumbers to fix water leaks and repair water lines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy                                                 Ramirez Canyon Park      Malibu 3-24 months Install "Limit Use" and "Report Leakage" signage inside buildings restrooms, shower room, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dept. of Food and Agriculture                                                 Napa Town & Country Fair        Napa  0-3 months                                                                  Eliminated livestock washing.                                                                                                                                          Creates a health and safety issue with animal human interaction, and a possible exposure to future litigation. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)                                                                      State-wide  0-3 months                                         Discontinue washing of the department's vehicle fleet.                                                                                                                                              Residents of veterans' homes have been informed that car washing is not permitted on grounds of the homes. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)                                                                      State-wide  0-3 months  Scraping of food into waste containers to avoid the need for spraying dishware unnecessarily.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dept. of State Hospitals                                                         Patton State Hospital      Patton 3-24 months                                               Move to disposable plates/cups for meal service.                                                                            Cuts down on water and labor costs, increases trash.                                                                                                 Cost: $11,000 per month Dept. of Education, State Special Schools and Services DivisionDiagnostic Center of Central California      Fresno 3-24 months                                           Replace 12 toilets from 1970s with low-flow toilets.                                                                                          New toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.                                                                                                 Estimated cost: $10,000 Dept. of Water Resources                                                          Delta Field Division       Byron 3-24 months                   Replace or upgrade remaining older, inefficient water-using cooling systems.                                                                                                 Water savings within two years.                                                                Cost: Approximately $100,000 to replace 18 swamp coolers Dept. of Food and Agriculture                                                      Ventura County Fair     Ventura  0-3 months     Limit the washing of grandstand seating to the first six rows and use blowers on the rest.                                                                                                                                 May receive a few complaints on how clean the seating has been - signage explaining reasoning may help keep complaints.

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