Water is “the” most precious commodity on the planet when it comes to sustaining life. While the human body can go weeks without solid food, few of us can survive beyond four days without the assistance of water. With that said, it is in all of our best interests to preserve water wherever and whenever we can.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District has the right idea. On June 14, 2011, the Board of Directors voted on an extension of the Bay Area Water Utility Clothes Washer Rebate Program. This means that the program, initiated on October 2001, will now be extended to December 31, 2012. The vote will also add an additional $1.4 million to coffers and fund an additional 16,000 rebates.
In early 2008, the program was bolstered by a partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric. This successful partnership allowed Santa Clara Valley Water District customers to complete one application form and receive water and energy rebates. This move resulted in a 20 percent increase in new customer participation.
Needless to say, the program has been a huge success. In 2010 alone, an estimated 43,500 washer rebates were awarded. This is expected to result in savings of almost 10,250 acre-feet of water during the life of the washing machines. According to experts, this is enough water to serve over 20,000 families of five for a period of one year.
In addition to water conservation rebates on clothes washers, the program also includes rebates on high-efficiency toilets, and water efficient landscape rebates. Business can benefit from rebates on the Water Efficient Technologies (WET) Program, commercial washers, water efficient landscaping and sub meters.
Customers of the Santa Clara Water District also benefit by receiving free water conservation devices that help them save 20 or more gallons per day. These devices include, shower timers, showerheads, leak detection dye tablets, bathroom and kitchen aerators, toilet flappers and water conservation literature.
If your local water district doesn’t offer this type program, contact them and ask why. You can also contact your local legislators and inquire about establishing a similar program in your area.
While water scarcity is not a big issue for most areas of the United States now — we all know how quickly circumstances can change. It’s in your best interest to learn as much as possible about water conservation. The immediate benefit to you, is that you will cut your water bill and have extra cash to spend on other life necessities.