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Water experts and business leaders applaud California’s new water conservation plan

SACRAMENTO — Water experts and business leaders across the state today are praising the release of California’s new plan to create a more resilient and reliable water future, “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.” In January 36 scientists from throughout California wrote a letter to Governor Jerry Brown applauding the governor’s leadership and urging common sense steps to increase the reliability of the state’s water supply. The Water Foundation issued the following statements, from water policy experts, researchers and business leaders lauding the plan as a breakthrough in reducing urban water use by employing efficiency standards based on local climate and conditions in each of California’s 410 water districts:

“Past energy crises have taught us that when you leave a room, you turn out the lights. That efficiency and conservation mindset is fundamental for the future of how we use water. Today’s plan is a key step in making common-sense conservation a way of life for every Californian.” – Wade Crowfoot, Water Foundation CEO

“This plan advances the principled goal of Governor Brown to unite Californians around the conviction of making water conservation a way of life. California homebuilders are pleased to assist in this effort.” – Dave Cogdill, California Building Industry Association president and CEO

“We know that our rivers, streams and groundwater are stressed, and that Californians want to protect fish and wildlife and nature. Delivering effective water conservation and water use efficiency strategies is an essential foundation to deliver sustainable water management for California. Developing a credible, verifiable methodology to show that we are ‘making conservation a way of life’ is essential to build confidence among all Californians that we are all doing our part to stretch every drop of water.” – Jay Ziegler, The Nature Conservancy director of policy and external affairs

“California needs to capture, conserve, and reuse an additional 1 million acre-feet of water each year for the next decade to sustain our economy and environment. California’s Water Conservation Plan, which recognizes the diverse conditions across the state, is a giant step toward regional sustainability for people and the environment.” – Jim Mayer, California Forward, president and CEO

“Even after a wet winter, thousands of Californians are still suffering from complete household water loss due to the drought. Californians must work together to use water reasonably and efficiently so that everyone in our state has the basic human right to water. Part of achieving that right is implementing water conservation and efficiency measures that minimize costs to make water affordable for low-income households.” – Susana De Anda, Community Water Center co-executive director

“The new efficiency standards allow agencies to choose how to meet a customized budget based on their population and climate, rather than mandating percentage reductions. Implementing this approach throughout the state is an essential step in assuring we can continue to meet the environmental and economic water needs of California.” – Lester Snow, Water Foundation policy advisor

“Millions throughout Los Angeles and California have responded to the call to Save the Drop and conserve water. These new conservation targets will build on the great progress we’ve made and make our State and our City more resilient and efficient in our everyday lives.” – Richard Harasick, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power assistant general manager

“Research shows us that in the future, it will be more difficult to meet the water demands of a growing population and a thriving economy. The smart thing to do is plan for the long term and use this precious resource much more efficiently.” – Alex Hall, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and director of the IoES Center for Climate Science

“The frequency and severity of droughts in California are likely to increase with climate change. When faced with a drought, Californians progressively reduce urban water use from year-to-year, but that use generally rebounds once the drought ends. It is now time to make water efficiency a permanent way of life. I applaud the governor’s statewide water efficiency standards for making this possible.” – Frank Loge, UC Davis professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Center for Water Energy Efficiency

“The Climate Registry (TCR) applauds California’s new water conservation plan. Nearly 20% of the electricity used by Californians is tied up in the water cycle. Being more efficient with this precious resource is not only more sustainable, but it will support California’s leadership on climate change. TCR looks forward to building on this plan by continuing to help the state quantify the water and climate connection.” – David Rosenheim, The Climate Registry executive director

“Conservation to maximize local water supplies is the first step toward making our state more resilient. Businesses can cost-effectively contribute to California’s sustainable water future by increasing their own water efficiency, through conservation, and by recycling and reusing water.” – Kirsten James, Ceres director of California policy and partnerships

“This plan recognizes that sound, thoughtful management of our water resources is an issue Californians cannot afford to ignore. Local governments across the state have been leading in this charge—implementing innovative programs to reduce water use, increase community resiliency and ensure ongoing economic prosperity.” – Kate Meis, Local Government Commission executive director

“We believe ‘Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life’ is an important educational tool for our industry and our customers. This legislation will get everyone on the same water efficiency page. We have been perfecting/performing water-efficient landscape maintenance since the 1990’s, and it is both the right thing to do in California, and has been a good business model for our company to follow.” – David DuBois, Mission Landscape president and CEO

“Tremendous opportunities exist to improve urban water conservation and efficiency, saving consumers money on their water bill and allowing suppliers to avoid costly new infrastructure investments. We can meet the needs of California’s growing economy and population through greater efficiency and eliminating waste.” – Gabriel Halimi, founder and chief executive officer of Flo Technologies, a Los Angeles-based family company providing technology solutions that enable the control and conservation of water at home

“The building owners I work with through the Better Buildings Challenge are always looking to maximize the value of their investments. It’s time we bring this same discipline to the management of our water resources across the state, living within our means and making every drop count.” – David Hodgins, Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge executive director and founder of Dry River Brewing

“Increasing efficiency through customized water use targets, reducing leaks and eliminating wasteful practices are among the least expensive and fairest ways to ensure sustainable water supplies into the future. This plan embraces those strategies and will make California a leader in adopting conservation as a way of life.” – Joe Grindstaff, Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) general manager and former director of the California Bay Delta Authority and former deputy secretary for water policy for the California Natural Resources Agency

“Santa Ana has a long history of environmental stewardship. Through our progressive approach to education and outreach, we have exceeded our conservation targets and proven what is possible when a community comes together to reduce urban water use. Today’s new plan will ensure we are all working towards building a more sustainable future for California.” – Nabil Saba, PE, City of Santa Ana water resources manager

“The Inland Empire is typically hot and dry, and with climate change we must prepare longer periods through the year that are even hotter and drier. Conservation targets that account for the variety of climates across California make sense, and they will help cities throughout the state save more water.” – Susan Lien Longville, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District president

“We all know that water is a precious, limited, and scarce resource. Today’s plan will make California more water efficient and help protect our natural resources. As the California drought becomes “the new normal” due to warmer temperatures, depleted reservoirs, and a dwindling snowpack, using water efficiently must be a part of our everyday lives.” – Joone Lopez, Moulton Niguel Water District general manager