ACWA Member Efforts

  • Jun 1, 2017

Dealing with Extreme Conditions

Here are some examples of innovative projects and creative programs by ACWA members to improve the state’s drought resiliency:

Santa Clara Valley Water District’s App for Reporting Water Waste

Santa Clara Valley Water District was among the first to launch a free mobile app to help enforce mandatory conservation regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. The district, which spent up to $500,000 to hire water cops, offered the Access Valley Water app for residents to report water wasters. The app allowed users to take a photo of water waste and give an address. Residents can also report water waste on the app anonymously.

City of Santa Cruz “Water School”

After implementing mandatory rationing during the height of the drought, the City of Santa Cruz enforced strict water allotments per household and steep surcharges for going over. Those who exceeded the limit faced penalties of up to $50 per unit, sending their monthly water bill over $500. Two “water cops” were employed to cite residents for water conservation violations. Those who violated the restrictions could have their fines waived by attending “Water School,” a two-hour water conservation class similar to traffic school. At times, the waiting list was a month long.

East Bay Municipal Utility District’s WaterSmart Software Pilot Project

East Bay MUD conducted a pilot project using a behavioral water efficiency approach to promoting water efficiency. The approach involved providing information to consumers that compared their household’s water use to the average use by similar homes. Behavioral efficiency programs have been used successfully by energy utilities in the past, but the EBMUD pilot was the first large-scale implementation of the technology by a large, urban water utility. An evaluation found that the technology helped customers reduce water use by 5%.

Dublin San Ramon Services District’s Recycled Water Fill Station

Dublin San Ramon Services District’s residential recycled water fill station provides free recycled water to residential customers for landscape irrigation. Customers are required to complete a Residential Recycled Water Use Agreement and bring it to the fill station during open hours, along with water containers. An attendant provides a brief training in proper use of recycled water and issues an ID card that verified the customer has been trained. The wallet card must be presented each time the recycled water containers are filled.


Want to add your ACWA member agency’s project to this list? Please contact Emily Allshouse at (916) 441-4545.