Action 17: Water Conservation
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Reduce water use around the Estuary.
Explore opportunities to reduce water exports from the Estuary through demand management such as reduced water use for landscaping, and residential water conservation.

Overview

Water conservation remains the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to reduce demand on overextended groundwater aquifers and riverine systems. Although California has passed legislation to require efficient water use both indoors and outdoors, opportunities still exist to improve implementation of these laws and address remaining gaps across the residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial sectors.

Task Description

Advance the installation of ‘smart’ water meters and monitors, including Advanced Metering Infrastructure or AMI, as industry best practice throughout the Estuary and provide support for obtaining funding for agencies working towards this goal.

Task Lead(s)

Bay Area Regional Reliability (BARR) water agencies

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

None identified

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$$$

Milestone(s)

18 municipal water utilities enrolled in the Water Upgrades $ave Program or similar programs.

Task Description

Expand Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN)’s Water Upgrades $ave Program or similar water efficiency programs to expedite customer participation and utility investment in indoor and outdoor water efficiency projects for single family residential, multifamily residential, commercial, and institutional customers to reduce water waste from inefficient fixtures and leaks.

Task Lead(s)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

ReScape California, water agencies

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$$$

Milestone(s)

18 municipal water utilities enrolled in the Water Upgrades $ave Program or similar programs.

Task Description

Improve Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) compliance by providing MWELO and regenerative landscape trainings, and an MWELO Toolkit to municipal staff throughout the Estuary and other regions that obtain water from the Estuary or its watersheds.

Task Lead(s)

ReScape California

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Local jurisdictions

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$$

Milestone(s)

20 regenerative landscape and MWELO trainings throughout the Estuary and its watersheds.

Task Description

Develop a model ordinance for water efficient retrofit on resale or retrofit on listing, based on such examples as existing City of Davis, Santa Cruz County, and/or City and County of San Francisco ordinances, taking into account contingencies that do not delay close of escrow.

Task Lead(s)

San Francisco Estuary Partnership (Coordinator)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Sustainable Silicon Valley, local jurisdictions

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$

Milestone(s)

Model retrofit ordinance for use by Estuary cities and counties.

Task Description

Convene Bay Area water and wastewater agencies to discuss regional water conservation targets, opportunities, and limitations, resulting in a synthesis report.

Task Lead(s)

Bay Area One Water Network

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Bay Area water and wastewater agencies, Climate Plan, San Francisco Estuary Partnership

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

$

Milestone(s)

One workshop held with Estuary stakeholders, resulting in a synthesis report.

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Task Description

Task Lead(s)

Task Collaborating Partner(s)

Cost Estimate Key

$ – Up to $100,000 $$ – Up to $1 million $$$ – Up to $10 million
$$$$ – Up to $100 million $$$$$ – Over $100 million

Cost Estimate

Milestone(s)

Updates and Emerging Issues

This Action combines the two 2016 Actions on outdoor landscaping and agricultural water use efficiency and expands its focus to a suite of water conservation strategies targeting indoor residential use, outdoor water use across all sectors, and repairs. Additionally, this Action will anticipate emerging issues by laying out a task to convene water utility agencies and planners to consider the future of water conservation in the Bay Area.

Climate Change Considerations

This Action addresses water supply issues that will be exacerbated by climate change. Over the long term, other methods of extending water supply during long droughts, in addition to water use efficiency, may need to be developed or expanded. Additionally, exceptionally efficient use may create challenges for wastewater systems.

Equity Considerations

Multifamily residential units, especially rental units, pose one of the remaining challenges to increasing residential water use efficiency. Renters may pay into a shared water bill without seeing it, and therefore may unknowingly subsidize the cost of water wasted due to inefficient fixtures and leaks. Strategies to increase customer participation in water conservation programs can result in more affordable water bills for renters.

Blueprint Goals

LivingResourcesGoal
ResilienceGoal
WaterGoal
StewardshipGoal
Review Action 17: Water Conservation in the report...
Pages-from-Final_2022Blueprint

Connections to Other Actions

Watershed connections provide unique habitat and ecosystem services closely related to or dependent upon:

Action 16: Freshwater Flows
Action 18: Recycled Water
Action 19: Stormwater Management