The State of California is entering into its fourth year of a severe drought and while residents are making great progress there is still much more to be done. As of this spring, the State Water Board Adopted a Mandatory Water Conservation Regulation of 25% reduction. Weingarten Realty has reviewed all options to conserve water in our shopping centers and below are a few areas of focus.
- Steam Cleaning -vendors are now using special machines that reclaim any water used to steam clean the sidewalks. These machines use 95% less water than the previous machines (saving 20,000 gallons of water a year-per center).
- Landscaping -vendors are aware of the restricted watering schedules and are abiding by them. In addition, they conduct weekly site inspections to ensure the sprinklers are adjusted appropriately to limit run off as well as adjust any heads that need it. We are changing out spray heads to drip sprinklers where applicable. We are also researching removing sod and replacing with drought tolerant plant material to further reduce the amount of water needed to
- Domestic– our plumbers are on site to inspect all restrooms on the property to identifying toilets that can be replaced with a low flow toilet. They will also look to replace faucets that are water inefficient and if there is a possibility top replace traditional water heaters with tankless water heaters.
Domestic water use, the water you use in your bathrooms, kitchens etc., comprises the largest percentage of water use at any shopping center. In order for shopping centers to meet the mandatory 25% reduction in water usage, it is incumbent upon identifying opportunities to decrease water consumption.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has two new rebate programs, “turf and toilet” rebate programs, to help Californians replace inefficient toilets and replace water-consuming lawns. The rebate programs are financed by the Proposition 1 Water Bond approved by voters in 2014. The program will help further reduce water use by replacing more than 10 million square-feet of lawn and upgrading more than 60,000 ineffective toilets.
As an environmentally conscious shopping center owner and manager, we feel a responsibility to do our part in helping conserve water at our California properties. The state cut water use by more than 31% this past July, further proving that residents understands the urgency for action. Weingarten Realty will continue to help grow the water conservation numbers.