Tag Archive for: water-efficiency rebates

WNN Top Stories of 2022-WNN-Water News Network-Top Stories

Water News Network Top Stories of 2022

The Water News Network top stories of 2022 were drought-related and features about technology and college scholarships also engaged readers.

Water News Network Top Stories of 2022

The #1 Water News Network Top Story of 2022 focused on scholarship opportunities for water industry education and the growing need for water and wastewater industry workers:

Multiple California water associations and water agencies in San Diego County are offering college scholarships to help candidates achieve their goals.

A large number of recent retirements combined with the need for a skilled workforce up to date on new technologies have resulted in a critical need to increase the talent pool of skilled individuals in the water and wastewater industry, including in San Diego County.

Funding water industry education and training

Otay Water District officials presents the first donation for a scholarship fund to Cuyamaca College President Dr. Julianna Barnes named after Otay General Manager Mark Watton. Photo: Otay Water District

Among the highlights in the January 20 story, was news about the Mark Watton Scholarship Fund, established by the Otay Water District at the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges. The fund supports students attending the Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College. It honors Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton’s four decades of service to the district.

Patent for pipeline inspection system

The #2 most viewed story on the Water News Network in 2022 highlighted an innovative tool to inspect pipelines developed by the San Diego County Water Authority:

The Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training.

Industry-leading asset management program

Water Authority Operations and Maintenance Manager Martin Coghill invented the tool to save time, reduce costs and improve safety during ongoing aqueduct inspections. The Water Authority’s industry-leading Asset Management Program includes a proactive search for pipeline weaknesses that can be addressed before they become large and costly problems.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Patent #US011,293,581 on April 5, 2022, for the Water Authority’s pipeline inspection system, which comprises a body, cameras, support members and light sources to capture high-resolution images of pipeline walls.

Utility Patent-Pipeline Inspection Tool-

The San Diego County Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training. Inventor Martin Coghill calls the tool “Scanny.” Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Commitment to innovation

“This new pipeline inspection tool is a prime example of the Water Authority’s commitment to innovation that benefits ratepayers by saving money and enhancing reliability,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “We have a long history of advancing industry-leading solutions, from state legislation to adopt low-flow toilets in the early 1990s to the nation’s largest water conservation-and-transfer program a decade later to the largest seawater desalination plant on the continent.”

Rebates and water conservation

The third most-viewed story detailed the California state tax breaks available and rebates to remove grass and save money, as California edged into the fourth consecutive year of drought:

A newly signed state law exempts local rebates for grass replacement from state income tax, ensuring more dollars can be spent creating beautiful and functional WaterSmart yards.

“Drought conditions make it imperative to boost water conservation in San Diego County and across the state,” said Sandra L. Kerl, general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority. “Using California tax incentives and regional rebates to install WaterSmart landscapes is a clear winner for stretching water supplies both today and for generations to come.”

The WNN feature story alerted homeowners and businesses in San Diego County that they are eligible to receive between $2 and $4 per square foot for removing grass and replacing it with low water-use plants that are better suited to withstand the hot and dry conditions that continue to hammer the West. All customers are eligible for the base rebate of $2 per square foot, but other agencies offer additional funding, including the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego.

Check latest rebates here: your-water/conservation/residential-rebates-programs

Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant

100 billion gallons-reverse osmosis-seawater desalination

Reverse osmosis is the heart of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. During this process, dissolved salt and other minerals are separated from the water, making it fit for consumption. This reverse osmosis building contains more than 2,000 pressure vessels housing more than 16,000 reverse osmosis membranes. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Drought-proof supply

Coming in as the 4th most popular story on the WNN in 2022 was the benefit of seawater desalination providing a drought-proof supply for San Diego County:

As the worst drought in 1,200 years grips the West, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is protecting the San Diego region with 50 million gallons a day of drought-proof water.

Completed in 2015, the plant was built before the period of increasing inflation that’s driving up prices for water infrastructure projects that are just starting. That means the desal plant is safeguarding the region’s economy and quality of life today at a lower cost than it would be to build now.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Water Supply Portfolio-desalination

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant uses reverse osmosis to produce approximately 10% of the region’s water supply; it is a core supply regardless of weather conditions, and it is blended with water from other sources for regional distribution. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

100 billion gallons

“Desalination remains a valuable tool for our community when it comes to ensuring safe and reliable water supplies no matter the weather,” said Jeremy Crutchfield, water resources manager for the Water Authority.  “It has shown its value by generating nearly 90 billion gallons over the past six years, and I’m confident it will continue to do so in the years ahead.”

In late-October 2022, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant passed a milestone, having served more than 100 billion gallons of high-quality, locally controlled water over the past seven years – as California entered a fourth consecutive year of severe drought.

(Editor’s Note: Click on the years to see the most viewed stories from 2019, 2020, and 2021. The Otay Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across San Diego County.)

Lawn Sprinkler

Water-Use Efficiency Rebates for a WaterSmart Home

Rebates are available for San Diego County residents seeking to reduce their water use and water bills, as drought persists across the Southwest U.S. The second year of drought, and a statewide call for water-use conservation, makes this an ideal time to be “WaterSmart.”

Outdoor water-efficiency rebates

Outdoor water use is 53% of the water used by residential properties. Most of that water is applied to keep grass green. There are a variety of rebates and classes that can help you upgrade your turf landscape to a beautiful sustainable, water-saving landscape. To learn more, visit WaterSmartSD.org. Available rebates include:

  • Turf Removal – Rebates start at $3 per square foot for qualifying projects that replace grass with landscapes that incorporate water-saving plants, irrigation system upgrades and rainwater capture.
  • Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers – Rebates start at $80 for controllers that automatically adjust the irrigation schedule to account for changing weather, soil conditions and plant types. For landscapes large than one acre, rebates start at $35 per station. Homeowners can save 8,800 gallons of water annually by replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller.
  • Rain Barrels – Rebates start at $35 for up to two rain barrels, or $250-$350 for a cistern to collect rainwater for later use, while minimizing the amount of water flowing into storm drains, sewer systems and local waterways.
  • Soil Moisture Sensor Systems – Rebates start at $80 on sensors for landscapes less than one acre and $35 per irrigation station for larger sites.
  • Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles – Rebates start at $2 per nozzle for nozzles that apply water slowly and uniformly to prevent over-watering and encourage healthy plant growth. Participants must buy at least 30 nozzles from the list of qualified products.
  • Flow Monitoring/Leak Detection Devices – Rebates start at $100 for qualifying models that monitor your home’s water use and can help detect leaks.
  • Unincorporated Areas – Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of San Diego County are eligible for increased water-use efficiency rebates under a new partnership between the County’s Watershed Protection Program and the San Diego County Water Authority. Water customers in unincorporated San Diego County can determine their eligibility at: SanDiegoCounty.gov/WatershedRebates.

Indoor water-efficiency rebates

Indoor water use makes up 47% of water used on residential properties. A homeowner can save four gallons of water during every shower by replacing showerheads with WaterSense-labeled models. Available indoor rebates include:

  • Premium High-Efficiency Toilets – Rebates start at $40 for toilets that use 1.1. gallons per flush from the qualified list. Toilets make up 30% of a typical home’s indoor water use.
  • High-Efficiency Clothes Washers – Rebates start at $85 for washers. Qualified products are listed at com and additional rebates may be available from San Diego Gas and Electric at sdge.com. High-efficiency washers have a 55% water savings and 25% energy savings.
10 WaterSmart Tips-Drought-Water-efficiency rebates

Ten tips to live WaterSmart. Graphic: San Diego County Water Authority

Free landscape makeover classes and resources

The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program will help you create an outdoor space that loves San Diego as much as you do! The classes and videos offer the skills, knowledge, and confidence to turn turf areas into outdoor rooms that will thrive in San Diego County’s climate. The four-class series is taught by local landscape professionals who focus on creating actionable design, planting, and irrigation plans for each participant’s landscape.

Three-hour virtual workshops are also available and focus on various landscape topics with a “do-it-yourself” approach. The Landscape Makeover Videos on Demand series mirrors the content of the four-class series, taking homeowners step-by-step through the process of creating water-efficient landscapes. Twenty short, entertaining videos cover topics ranging from soil health and plant selection to rainwater harvesting.

Free WaterSmart checkup

Homeowners who would like advice on lowering their water use, adjusting their irrigation controller, or upgrading their irrigation system can schedule a free on-site WaterSmart checkup by going to WaterSmartCheckup.org. A WaterSmart Checkup is an opportunity to receive free, site-specific water-saving recommendations. Homeowners benefit from the perspective of certified irrigation professionals and decide if and when to implement the suggestions. There is no obligation. Savings can top 20%.

The Water Authority’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program trains professionals in water-efficient landscape principles and practices, including soils, plant selection, irrigation systems, and scheduling specific to the region. They’ll help you upgrade and maintain your landscape with a focus on the San Diego climate. To find a pro in your area go to qwel.net.

WaterSmart living may not only save money, but create vibrant yards, reduce energy use, protect natural resources, reduce landscape maintenance, and improve property values. It also creates a shared sense of purpose about how San Diegans use their limited water supplies — in a word, WaterSmart.

New Partnership Promotes WaterSmart Landscapes, Healthy Watersheds in San Diego County

Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of San Diego County are eligible for increased water-use efficiency rebates under a new partnership between the County’s Watershed Protection Program and the San Diego County Water Authority.

The County’s new Waterscape Rebate Program will save money for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers who make landscape upgrades that improve the region’s climate resilience and reduce the flow of pollutants into waterways.