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Water: The Time to Conserve is Now!
By: John Krikorian & Linda LaZar

Southern California is entering its driest year on record, receiving only three inches of rainfall since July 2006 – just a quarter of the average rainfall in a normal year.  Further, the region is poised to experience a water crisis equal to the scale of the 1987-92 drought, which resulted in mandatory rationing for all southern California residents and businesses.

California has a $1.2 trillion economy with southern California generating more than $800 billion annually.  The bottom line is that both our state and regional economies rely heavily on water.  As a result, it is imperative that businesses conserve water now to help us avoid a crisis that would disrupt our daily business operations, overall economy, and quality of life in years to come. 

There are two ways businesses can help conserve water.  The first is through the audit of water consumption to identify and fix leaks.  Businesses can call their local utilities to undergo an audit.  The second way is to incorporate new technologies that use water more efficiently in daily business operations.

The drought of 1987-92 was a wake-up call. While water planning and capital improvements have been made over the last 20 years, our current water situation will rapidly worsen if dry conditions continue.  We must all take action – the state, water agencies, businesses, and residents – if we are to prevent a true water crisis in the future.

Below is information that Business Life received covering various commercial incentives and conservation programs that local cities offer to their businesses and residents in the region.

Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP)

Burbank Water and Power’s offers rebates to business customers to help them reduce their energy and water consumption and save money!

BWP’s Water-Saving Cash Rebates are available on high efficiency toilets and urinals, high efficiency clothes washers, pre-rinse kitchen spray heads, X-ray film processor recirculation system, connectionless food steamers, pH conductivity controllers, steam sterilizer retrofits, rotating spray nozzles for irrigation, and smart controllers for irrigation. 

Saving water also saves energy. It takes a lot of power to transport, treat, distribute, and pump water to Burbank customers.  The less water used directly translates to energy savings.

BWP’s Energy Solutions Program provides rebates of up to $100,000 on energy-efficiency projects.  The Business Bucks Program provides a FREE comprehensive energy survey for smaller and mid-sized businesses.  As part of this great program, BWP pays the first $1,000 on any recommended retrofit work conducted by their certified installers.

Each business that takes advantage of new technologies, upgrades equipment, and conserves precious resources contributes to the global communities’ well-being, including fewer greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality. 

Please visit for more information on business rebate programs.

Crescenta Valley Water District

The mission of the Crescenta Valley Water District is to provide dependable water service and wastewater collection to its constituents in La Crescenta, Montrose, and portions of Glendale and La Canada Flintridge. 

The Crescenta Valley Water District was formed as the Crescenta Valley County Water District on December 14, 1950 by the vote of local residents. Organized under the provisions of Division 12 of the State of California Water Code, the District operates as a political subdivision of the State. The term "County" was officially deleted from the District's name in 1996. For additional information please visit

Glendale Water & Power (GWP)

Officials for Glendale Water & Power encourage residents to conserve energy following a record setting demand. GWP is launching a public outreach campaign “Glendale, It’s Time to Save Water.” The campaign encourages all residential and business customers to save water so that Glendale can meet its water conservation goal.

GWP receives a majority of its water from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). MWD’s water supplies are limited because the State of Californian Water Project will be delivering only 60% of its normal water supply and the Colorado River is entering into the eighth year of a drought. 

GWP offers residential and small business programs.  Customers can receive free energy and water surveys and have program surveyors install free water saving devices such as low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators at their business and residence. Please visit

Pasadena Water and Power (PWP)

Effective business leaders and managers know that efficiency in the workplace is key to reducing overhead costs and increasing productivity and the bottom line. Efficient water management, often overlooked, is a critical component for keeping costs down. Ultra low flush toilets and urinals, for example, use 20,000 gallons less water annually than older models, amounting to an annual water savings of $75 per fixture. Additional incentives to switch to more efficient models come from local utilities such as Pasadena Water and Power, which offers its commercial customers rebates of up to $500 on a range of restroom fixture replacements and upgrades.

Pasadena Water and Power is dedicated to helping its commercial customers reduce costs and maximize profitability through efficient water management practices. PWP Account Managers work closely with their customers to find creative solutions for decreasing water demand in the workplace. They recommend beginning with no/low cost measures such as repairing leaky plumbing and landscaping with native California species. Switching to weather-based, or “smart,” irrigation controllers is another effective measure for reducing water costs. With logistical support from PWP, PasadenaUnifiedSchool District recently installed smart irrigation controllers and is already enjoying a significant decrease in water usage, as well as labor hours devoted to maintenance. PWP’s recent rebate increase to $830 per irrigated acre makes smart irrigation controllers affordable for businesses of all sizes.

PWP has also increased rebates on other high-efficiency equipment specific to commercial needs, including cooling tower conductivity controllers (up to $825 per device) and zero water urinals (up to $500 per fixture). Call the PWP AnswerLine at (626) 744-6970 to speak to an Account Manager, or view a full list of commercial water conservation rebates at


PHOTO Caption: California poppies adorn this EV, promoting landscaping with water-wise native species.”


Monrovia is a city of 40,000 residents with one of the most vibrant business communities in the region. It maintains its own wells and pumping system, tapping pools of AngelesForest runoff trapped beneath the southern part of the city.

While the pools still hold a sufficient supply for the community’s normal needs, the current prolonged drought and an unpredictable climate have triggered a string of local conservation initiatives to preserve those pools as long as possible and change Monrovia’s water-use habits over time and on a permanent basis.

Looking ahead to future needs, Monrovia’s City Council adopted a set of 21 Environmental Accords in July aimed at greening the city in the areas of energy use, waste reduction, urban design, nature interface, transportation, environmental health, and water.

Four of the 21 policy decisions approved by the Council concerned water usage and purity.  As the water supplier for the entire community, the City of Monrovia is engaged on a daily basis with the issues of maintaining a clean, available, sustainable supply. When Monrovia was founded as a farming and orchard-dependent community, it had a reliable water supply that made commerce, neighborhoods and a town’s future so optimistically possible.

Today, too, Monrovia’s future depends on those same pools of water and a greener, more efficient future.

Foothill Municipal Water District

The Foothill Water District was incorporated in 1952 to meet the needs of the rapidly growing foothill area following the end of WW II. The District joined the MWD in 1953 and today is one of the 26 Metropolitan member agencies.

To learn more about the Foothill District, visit or call: 818-790-4036 in La Canada Flintridge.

Three Valleys Municipal Water District

The Three Valleys Water District was formed in 1950 to meet its service area’s customer needs for high quality water in a cost-efficient and environmentally sound manner.  The area spans not only the PomonaValley, but the WalnutValley and eastern portion of the San GabrielValley as well. To learn more call: 909-621-5568 or visit

Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District

The Upper San Gabriel Valley District was formed in 1959 to address water problems in the region and has worked with local agencies, as well as the MWD state and federal authorities to construct treatment facilities in order to reactivate wells that were once contaminated.  Some of the cities served include Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Covina, Glendora, Duarte, Monrovia, So. Pasadena, and West Covina. For additional information please e-mail visit or call: 626-443-2297.