General Services Agency of Ventura County reduces water usage

During the period of June – September 2014, buildings maintained by the GSA reduced the amount of water used by almost eight million gallons, a nearly 11 percent reduction. At both of the county's jail facilities, flush limiters were installed on the toilets resulting in a daily water savings of more than 26,000 gallons a day, and nine million gallons per year.

"We're looking for water-saving opportunities at all of the facilities we manage and we're achieving good results," said GSA Director Paul Grossgold. "Drought-tolerant Kikuyu grass is used at many of the County's parks and at the Government Center because it requires relatively little water compared to other turf grasses. Last August, we reduced watering to once a week at the Government Center and not at all during rainy weather by use of a computerized watering system and weather station. The technology adjusts water use automatically and has resulted in a 72 percent reduction of water use at these facilities."

Less than six percent of the County's parkland – including the three golf courses – is irrigated. This has led to a significant water savings. For example:

  • Camp Comfort – 27 percent decrease
  • Oak Park – 12 percent decrease
  • Oak View Community Center – 17 percent decrease
  • Soule Park – 36 percent decrease
  • Tapo Canyon Park – 16 percent decrease
  • The water savings from just these five properties is more than 6.5 million gallons.

"Our efforts in water conservation are consistent with our desire to be good stewards of the county's natural resources," said County CEO Mike Powers. "The Board of Supervisors have made it clear that water conservation and management is a priority for the county. We want to set an example for other local governments and we want the public to see that significant water savings can be
achieved through the use of drought-tolerant planting, water flow devices and other water-saving efforts."

The GSA has taken even more extreme measures in some cases. Significant turf areas at the Todd road jail were removed and replaced with a weed barrier and rock covering, completely eliminating irrigation and landscape maintenance in those areas.

For information on reducing water use visit the Watersheds Coalition of Ventura County at: http://www.ventura.org/wcvc/documents/water_use_efficiency.htm

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