- Associated Press - Saturday, July 26, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - In January, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a water emergency and asked everyone from residents to state agencies to cut water use by 20 percent. What follows is a sample of efforts state agencies are undertaking to comply.

Department or Agency Unit Location Timeframe Action Projected Savings Notes
Dept. of Food and Agriculture Sonoma-Marin Fair Petaluma 0-3 months Evaluate sprinkler and irrigation pipes and valves to assure no leakage. Repair if necessary. Possible loss of fair rentals due to lack of attractiveness; estimated cost: $300,000+
Dept. of Housing and Community Development Art Ochoa Migrant Center Gilroy 0-3 months Install drought resistant plants. Requires less water to maintain.
California African American Museum African American Museum Los Angeles 0-3 months Reduced exterior irrigation by 20 percent in February 2014. Foresee possible loss of plantings - although many of plants are arid climate plants.
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Lincoln Plaza Headquarters Sacramento 0-3 months Modify irrigation schedule to two days per week and reduce overall watering time. May result in loss of plant material.
Dept. of Transportation (CalTrans) State-wide 3-24 months Install mulch to portions of highway landscape areas. Reduces weed growth and increased soil moisture retention. Estimated cost: $1.8 million for 15,000 acres of mulch.
Dept. of Parks and Recreation State-wide 3-24 months Repair water distribution systems and storage systems. Leaks in distribution and storage systems account for large volumes of wasted water annually. Estimated cost: $10 to $15 million annually, recurring for 10 years.
Dept. of Education, State Special Schools & Services Division California School for the Deaf Fremont 0-3 months Locate water leak in school’s pool. Received three bids from vendors; pool is used for swimming lessons for deaf students.
Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation Avenal State Prison Avenal 3-24 months Replace hydronic loop (part of the heating system). Replace steam pipe. This institution currently uses 64,332 gallons of makeup water per day due to water leaks totaling 23,481,200 gallons per year.
Dept. of State Hospitals Napa State Hospital Napa 3-24 months Hired plumbers to fix water leaks and repair water lines.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Ramirez Canyon Park Malibu 3-24 months Install “Limit Use” and “Report Leakage” signage inside buildings restrooms, shower room, etc.
Dept. of Food and Agriculture Napa Town & Country Fair Napa 0-3 months Eliminated livestock washing. Creates a health and safety issue with animal human interaction, and a possible exposure to future litigation.
Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) State-wide 0-3 months Discontinue washing of the department’s vehicle fleet. Residents of veterans’ homes have been informed that car washing is not permitted on grounds of the homes.
Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) State-wide 0-3 months Scraping of food into waste containers to avoid the need for spraying dishware unnecessarily.
Dept. of State Hospitals Patton State Hospital Patton 3-24 months Move to disposable plates/cups for meal service. Cuts down on water and labor costs, increases trash. Cost: $11,000 per month
Dept. of Education, State Special Schools and Services Division Diagnostic Center of Central California Fresno 3-24 months Replace 12 toilets from 1970s with low-flow toilets. New toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush. Estimated cost: $10,000
Dept. of Water Resources Delta Field Division Byron 3-24 months Replace or upgrade remaining older, inefficient water-using cooling systems. Water savings within two years. Cost: Approximately $100,000 to replace 18 swamp coolers
Dept. of Food and Agriculture Ventura County Fair Ventura 0-3 months Limit the washing of grandstand seating to the first six rows and use blowers on the rest. May receive a few complaints on how clean the seating has been - signage explaining reasoning may help keep complaints.

Source: Drought action plans as devised by agencies and compiled by California’s Department of General Services