SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Across California, state agencies and departments are taking immediate actions to curb water use at their facilities in response to the drought state of emergency declared by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.
The Governor's state of emergency declaration charged the Department of General Services (DGS) with "immediately implement(ing) water use reduction plans for all state facilities."
"Throughout state government, we are answering Governor Brown's call to save water wherever we can," said DGS Director Fred Klass. "DGS is leading water conservation efforts at our state-owned buildings."
Some immediate steps DGS has taken over the past few weeks include:
· Drastically reduced or eliminated altogether water used in landscaping at DGS properties.
· Shutting off water fountains and water features on state property, including the State Capitol grounds.
· Instituting a moratorium on non-essential landscaping projects at state facilities.
· Cancelling contracts for water intensive-window washing at state facilities.
· Eliminating all car washes in the state garage other than those required for safety.
· Issuing guidance through the Division of the State Architect to nearly 1,200 school administrators on best practices for conserving water at K-12 schools and community college campuses.
· Sending letters to the scores of landlords from whom the state leases facilities requesting they take water reduction actions.
· Placing signage<http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/pio/water/conserve2.jpg> in state buildings to remind tenants and visitors of the urgent need to save water.
These actions are part of a larger water conservation effort undertaken by state agencies and departments that manage facilities throughout California. Examples of other water conservation work now underway include:
· The Department of Transportation will cut water usage by as much as 50 percent along California roadways, starting with regions most impacted by the drought while also expanding its utilization of smart irrigation technologies.
· The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has installed and inspected low-flow shower heads and toilets and limited inmates washing clothing to designated laundry areas.
· The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has banned watering of lawns at its facilities and is washing state vehicles only when necessary for health and safety or to prevent the spread of invasive species.
· The California Department of Food and Agriculture has ceased landscape irrigation at its facilities and is using an efficient power washer for biosecurity of certain vehicles.
· CAL FIRE has stopped washing fire trucks and other vehicles except to maintain public safety and operational standards.
· The California Environmental Protection Agency has installed sub-meters throughout their building to monitor, curb and redirect water use where appropriate, in addition to using low-flow faucets, toilets, urinals and shower heads.
· The California Highway Patrol has invited DGS to identify short term improvements and develop long term water conservation plans at the Academy campus.
· The Department of Parks and Recreation has shut down outdoor showers at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area and Hearst Castle's leaky Neptune Pool is no longer being refilled and pool water is being directed to landscaping needs.
· The Department of Water Resources has accelerated the replacement and upgrade of plumbing fixtures to low flow fixtures, replaced water-intensive landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and rocks and replaced or upgraded older, inefficient cooling systems that use large amounts of water.
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