What is World Water Day?
An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2014, World Water Day is dedicated to the theme of the water energy nexus.
Read more about World Water Day 2014 at http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday
DWR's World Water Day Event:
The EPA describes water efficiency as "the smart use of our water resources through water-saving technologies and simple steps". Conserved water leads to more water available in lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. This water can then be available for wildlife and also leisure and recreational use. Keeping water at efficient levels is integral in safeguarding the environment and all forms of life.
- On average, 75 percent of California's annual pre-cipitation occurs between November and March
- In 2007, California became the first state in the nation to require more efficient toilets than the current national standard,or 1.6 gallons per flush.
- By 2014, every toilet sold in California will be required to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less.
- In 2010, California released its 20 X 2020 Water Conservation Plan,which was initiated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and designed to reduce per capita water consumption 20 percent. It set in motion a number of activities to encourage water efficiency and required urban water suppliers to set reduction targets for 2015 and 2020
- 1994 was the year that federally mandated low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets started to appear on the scene in significant numbers.
- On average, 10 gallons per day of your water footprint (or 14% of your indoor use) is lost to leaks. Short of installing new water-efficient fixtures, one of the easiest, most effective ways to cut your footprint is by repairing leaky faucets and toilets.
- If you use a low-flow showerhead, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower.
- Every time you shave minutes off your use of hot water, you also save energy and keep dollars in your pocket.
- It takes about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub, so showers are generally the more water-efficient way to bathe.
- All of those flushes can add up to nearly 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick.
- Most front-loading machines are energy- and water-efficient, using just over 20 gallons a load, while most top-loading machines, unless they are energy-efficient, use 40 gallons per load.
- Energy Star dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water per load, and even standard machines use only about 6 gallons. Hand washing generally uses about 20 gallons of water each time.
- One of the best ways to conserve water is to buy recycled goods, and to recycle your stuff when you're done with it. Or, stick to buying only what you really need.
- Recycling a pound of paper, less than the weight of your average newspaper, saves about 3.5 gallons of water. Buying recycled paper products saves water too, as it takes about six gallons of water to produce a dollar worth of paper.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
"LEED-certified buildings are designed to:
- Lower operating costs and increase asset value
- Reduce waste sent to landfills
- Conserve energy and water
- Be healthier and safer for occupants
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities".
"Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2010 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars — all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.
Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice.
- If looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.
- If looking for a new home, look for one that has earned the ENERGY STAR.
- If looking to make larger improvements to your home, EPA offers tools and resources to help you plan and undertake projects to reduce your energy bills and improve home comfort".
March is Energy Efficiency Month at DWR and this is a great time to introduce DWR's new Energy Efficiency Unit. In September of last year, DWR created the Water and Energy Efficiency Branch (WEE) in the SWP Power and Risk Office in order to address DWR's Sustainability Policy goals and State mandates on retail water, energy, and GHG emissions. Some of these mandates include the following reductions:
- Reduce its retail energy usage 20% by 2018 using a 2003 baseline.
- Reduce its retail water usage by 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2020, using a 2010 baseline.
- Reduce its retail GHG emissions by 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2020, using a 2010 baseline.
Focus on Energy
In order to meet these mandates, WEE will begin by estimating baseline usage by collecting current and historical DWR retail energy bills and meter data. WEE will then create a current inventory of all retail loads, down to the plug load level.
In order to form a focused plan to best reduce energy usage, WEE will use a combination of:
- Contracts with companies that perform comprehensive building energy audits,
- Contracts with certified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) who will perform energy audits,
- Propose solutions that are eligible for utility on-bill financing, and perform energy self-audits.
Auditing may involve measuring any and all energy loads, down to the plug load level, in order to determine a building's energy profile. Depending on the usage patterns, energy efficient solutions may be different from building to building.
How May This Impact Me?
WEE wants to make the auditing process as unobtrusive as possible. Your office will be contacted, and an agreement will be made with the approving authority before any work is to be done on the premises. Contractors, consultants, and our staff will not show up unannounced or unscheduled.
Who's Paying for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Projects?
WEE are on the lookout for multiple sources of funding. Some of the projects that DWR completed utilized ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds from the Federal government. Some potential sources of future projects include funds from State initiatives such as Proposition 39, or utility initiatives such as On-Bill Financing and other sources.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Library, energy efficiency is "using less energy to provide the same service". This idea can be applied to many aspects in life, including vehicles, buildings, homes, manufacturing, and the government. This reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissons that are released into the atmosphere.
Here are five apps for your phone that helps with energy saving in your life and home!
1.) Light Bulb Finder (Free) - $ 120 saving per year: http://www.lightbulbfinder.net
"Light Bulb Finder is a free mobile phone application that makes it easy to switch from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents with the right fit, style and light quality. View bulb images, cost, savings, and environmental impact. Create shopping lists, and buy bulbs directly through the app or at local stores".
Steps to use Light Bulb Finder:
- Average cost of electricity for the area(area code)
- Type of device the light bulb is used on
- Type of light bulb it is
- How many watts the light bulb
- Blub usage per day
After inputting this information, you receive:
- Recommend bulb
- Payback investment
- Cost of bulb
- CO2 reduction
2.) greenMeter app($ 5.99 – only for iphone and itouch) http://hunter.pairsite.com/greenmeter/
"greenMeter is an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that computes your vehicle's power and fuel usage characteristics and evaluates your driving to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and cost, and lower your environmental impact. Results are displayed in real time, while driving, to give instantaneous feedback. Measures acceleration, aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance at certain speeds to determine fuel consumption, carbon footprint, fuel cost".
- Directly indicates if your driving is Eco-friendly
- Input your vehicle information and current cost of fuel to get your results.
3.) Vampire Power awareness app(iGo – $29.99-$99.99): http://www.igo.com/page/vampirepower
Vampire power is standby power from your appliances that drains electricity. These are plugs that that lets you turn on and off power to appliances when it's not in use. "The app provides a calculator, an energy quiz, energy conservation information, and an augmented reality marker which cooperates with iGo's Vampire Power Awareness web site. The app also directed users to iGo's energy efficient power adapters, designed to reduce and eliminate passive-state energy waste."
4.) Green Outlet app( $.99): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/green-outlet/id329692231?mt=8
"Green Outlet helps you identify which of your household appliances are costing you the most to run so you can make informed decisions about your electric use. By selecting the types of appliances you use in your home and entering how many hours of use per day for each green outlet will predict what your electric bill will be for the month. While adding up the financial cost of your appliance use GO also adds up your household Carbon Footprint.
Green Outlet even alerts you when you have exceeded "Recommended Carbon Usage" based on US Government Guidelines".
5.) Nest app( unit - $249): http://www.nest.com/
"Nest learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and Nest can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%".
Nest device determines the thermostat use and changes temperature according to the home's use. It lets you power on and off your thermostat from anywhere, and looks at savings and energy use for the home.
- In 2009, 11.6 percent of all electricity came from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric facilities.
- Large hydro plants generated another 9.2 percent of California's electricity.
- In 2011, California ranked third in the Nation in conventional hydroelectric generation, first in net electricity generation from other renewable energy resources, and first as a producer of electricity from geothermal energy.
- In 2010, California's per capita energy consumption ranked 48th in the Nation; the State's low ranking was due in part to its mild climate and energy efficiency programs.
These videos are from the U.S. Department of Energy and show different perspectives on renewable energy.
For more videos on energy efficiency and renewable energy, go to http://www1.eere.energy.gov/multimedia/videos.html
When we talk about energy efficiency, it is nice to have a sense of why it matters. NASA's night photos of earth from space give a good picture of both light pollution and electricity use. These photos are a good reminder that energy efficiency is a concern for everyone!
Timeline of Mandates in California Regarding Renewable Energy:
- 2002: Senate Bill 1078 establishes the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) program, requiring 20% of retail sales from renewable energy by 2017.
- 2003: Energy Action Plan I accelerated the 20% deadline to 2010.
- 2005: Energy Action Plan II recommends a further goal of 33% by 2020.
- 2006: Senate Bill 107 codified the accelerated 20% by 2010 deadline into law.
- 2008: Governor Schwarzenegger issues Executive Order S-14-08 requiring 33% renewables by 2020.
- 2009: Governor Schwarzenegger issues Executive Order S-21-09 directing the California Air Resources Board, under its AB 32 authority, to adopt regulations by July 31, 2010, consistent with the 33% renewable energy target established in Executive Order S-14-08.
- 2011: Senate Bill X1-2, signed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., codifies 33% by 2020 RPS.
Mandates Regarding Water Conservation in California:
The most recent update, released in March 2010, outlines two key initiatives for strengthening water supply reliability in California:
1. Improving the state's water system and fixing the Delta; and
2. Improving the regional water supply reliability, including water conservation, through the Integrated Regional Water Management Program.
- Each urban retail water supplier must develop water-use targets and an interim water-use target by July 1, 2011.
- Each urban retail water supplier must include in its water management plan (also due in July 2011) the baseline daily per-capita water use, water-use target, interim water-use target and compliance daily per-capita water use. The Department of Water Resources (DWR), through a public process and in consultation with the California Urban Water Conservation Council, must develop technical methodologies and criteria for the consistent implementation of Method 4 (explained below).
- DWR will adopt regulations for implementing the provisions related to process water (water used in a manufacturing or treatment process).
- A Commercial-Institutional-Industrial Task Force will be established to develop and implement urban best management practices for statewide water savings.
- Effective 2016, urban retail water suppliers that do not meet the water conservation requirements established by this bill are not eligible for state water grants or loans.
Four Methods for Setting Targets
SBx7 7 establishes four methods that urban water suppliers can choose from to set their targets (by July 1, 2011) and achieve a statewide goal of a 20 percent reduction in urban water use:
- Method 1. Set a conservation target of 80 percent of their baseline daily per-capita water use.
- Method 2. Utilize performance standards for water use that are specific to indoor, landscape and commercial, industrial and institutional uses;
- Method 3. Meet the per-capita water use goal for their specific hydrologic region as identified by DWR and other state agencies in the 20 percent by 2020 Water Conservation Plan; or
- Method 4. Use an alternate method that will be developed by DWR before Dec. 31, 2010.
For more information on these mandates, and to read an interview with the Department of Water Resources director Mark Cowin, go to: http://www.westerncity.com/Western-City/July-2010/Understanding-the-New-Water-Conservation-Mandates/