If California businesses adopted proper water efficiency measures, enough water could be saved to supply San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, which use an estimated 2.5 million acre-feet of water a year in California, need to adopt a variety of measures to reduce their water use, according to the report.
- The state needs to prioritize water conservation above increasing water supply.
- The state should levy a Public Goods Charge on water sales to help fund water efficiency programs.
- The state should set a target to reduce water use 20 percent within water agencies.
- The California Energy Commission should set standards for water efficiency in buildings, appliances and landscape irrigation.
- The state should create a general permit for using recycled water for landscape irrigation.
- The state should encourage volumetric pricing for sewer services. Research shows that a 10 percent increase in water price causes a 2-3 percent drop in demand.
- The state should decouple water agencies sales from revenue.
After residential requirements, office buildings, golf courses, schools, oil refineries, food processing facilities and high-tech manufacturers are among the leading water consumers in California.