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Improve Coordination Between Agencies

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Drought response requires quick and decisive government action to reduce negative impacts on local stakeholder groups. Increasing coordination and data sharing among all levels of government and agencies (federal, State, local and tribal) reduces the cost of drought-related implementations and streamlines the permitting and regulatory process.

Read more on how the California Water Plan: Update 2013 facilitates improved agency coordination.


Plant Grasses that Require Less Water

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Landscape golf iStock 000011955558XSmallPlanting grasses that require less water can result in large-scale water savings for golf courses and parks. Certain drought stress-tolerant cultivars have been developed, while some have even been bred to be salt-tolerant, allowing for brackish or ocean water irrigation.

Click Here for more information on golf course water conservation measures recommended by the United States Golf Association.


Aerate Soil with a Heavy-Duty Slicer

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aerationSoil compaction reduces irrigation efficiency by decreasing pore space and increasing bulk density of soil, leading to decreased water infiltration and increased surface water runoff. Aerating through heavy-duty slicing reduces soil compaction and enhances turfgrass rooting, creating more space for air and water movement and increasing irrigation efficiency.

Click Here for more information on tips and tools to reduce golf course water use recommended by the United States Golf Association.


Install a Drain-Water Heat Recovery System

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blog heat recoveryThe Department of Energy estimates that 80%-90% of the heat energy that is produced by water heaters is utilized once and sent down the drain. A drain-water heat recovery system draws energy from warm waste water and uses it to preheat incoming cold fresh water. The process involves copper drainpipe wrapped with copper coils to allow warm water to transfer heat through the pipe to the copper coils carrying cold fresh water. By preheating incoming fresh water a large amount of energy is saved, saving water in the process.

Learn more about drain-water heat recovery systems here.


Install Higher Accuracy Automatic Flush Toilets

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Kohler Touchless Toilet 2Automatic flush toilets are a common occurrence in high-traffic public restrooms. They were originally touted as a more hygienic alternative to manual flush toilets. Many of these toilets use a large amount of water, and are subject to excessive flushing due to over-sensitive flush sensors. A 2010 study on public restrooms in a Tampa Bay office building reported a 50% increase in water use after automatic flush toilets were installed. Placing the sensor above the toilet, facing up, along with proper installation and maintenance can vastly reduce the amount of errant flushes and water wasted as a result.



Source Marginal-Quality Water Near Energy Operations

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Identifying opportunities to source marginal-quality water near energy operations reduces the environmental impacts of pipelines and trucking. Utilizing marginal quality water reduces potable water usage and increases drought resiliency of an operation. Sources of marginal-quality water include production water, brackish groundwater and municipal/industrial waste water effluent. Read the EPA's Guidelines for Water Reuse 


Create a proactive leak detection program

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leakImplementing a proactive leak detection program in water delivery infrastructure reduces water loss. By being proactive and staying ahead of leaks, facility managers can eliminate water waste before excess costs accumulate on water that is extracted but never used. More information on leak detection in this White Paper from American Water.

Use Saline or Brackish Water to Process Ore

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ore processingSaline and brackish groundwater unsuitable for agriculture or domestic uses presents an opportunity for mines to reduce fresh water usage. Utilizing saline water to process ore increases the availability of high quality surface water for other uses, while simultaneously increasing a mining operation’s drought resistance.

Read more on this practice and other water conservation measures