Metropolitan board approves new generation of high-tech water conservation tools for Southern California

Aug. 23, 2002
On the heels of a new long-term water conservation strategy for Southern Californians, Metropolitan Water District has approved new water-saving tools to help cut water waste.

August 23, 2002 -- On the heels of the unveiling of a new long-term water conservation strategy calling for Southern Californians to take outdoor water savings to the next level, Metropolitan Water District's board of directors recently approved a slate of new water-saving tools designed to assist in the campaign to cut water waste at home and at work.

The board set aside more than $500,000 in incentives for purchasing approved water-saving devices and support for the development of new technologies.

"Metropolitan is making a serious investment in the promotion of strategies to adapt to a sustainable way of life for Southern Californians," said Metropolitan Chairman Phillip J. Pace. "In addition to encouraging residents to reduce outdoor water use through better water habits and use of native and drought-tolerant plants, we also are fostering new and fresh approaches that conserve water in ways we have not before."

For the first time, Metropolitan, in partnership with its 26 member public agencies, will offer the region's businesses and other organizations incentives for installing two new and innovative devices proven to significantly cut water use.

• Southern California residents can receive a $65 incentive for installing evapotranspiration controllers, which calculate precise daily water needs, in their landscapes' irrigation systems.

• Hotels, restaurants and other organizations can receive a $100 incentive for purchasing a pressurized water broom for use instead of a hose in cleaning patio, pool, kitchen and other large surface areas. The Anaheim Convention Center tested the device last year and found that their water use and cleaning time were cut in half by using the broom in high-traffic areas.

• Hospitals and large-scale medical centers can receive a $2,000 incentive for installing an X-ray film processing water recycling unit that allows for reuse of 98 percent of the 700,000 gallons typically used for this purpose in a year.

The new incentive programs funded recently are in addition to Metropolitan's ongoing rebate programs for high-efficiency clothes washers, low-flush toilets and showerheads, high-efficiency self-closing pre-rinse spray valves and cooling tower conductivity controllers. Those interested in learning more about any of the incentive programs should inquire with their local water provider for more information on how to apply.

Metropolitan's board also authorized $250,000 for its biennial Innovative Conservation Program, which funds pilot demonstrations of new and untested water conservation devices. Both the water broom and the X-ray film processing water-recycling unit are previous recipients of ICP funding.

In addition, the board authorized up to $75,000 for a water conservation program aimed at encouraging hotels, motels and restaurants to provide daily guest room linen laundry service and drinking water with dinner only upon request.

In other actions recently, for the second consecutive year, the board reduced the district's property tax rate, from .0077 percent of assessed valuations to .0067 for the 2002-03 fiscal year. The rate reduction is due to higher assessed valuations of real estate throughout Metropolitan's six-county service area and reduced debt-service cost covered by the tax levy. Tax rate revenues will produce an estimated $97.9 million for Metropolitan-about 10 percent of the district's annual budget.

For more information, please visit the Metropolitan website at www.mwdH2O.com.

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