Ports Strengthen Water Conservation Efforts amid Drought

California is facing one of the most severe droughts on record. Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2014 and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages.

The state has continued to lead the way to make sure California is able to cope with an unprecedented drought, and California’s seaports are supporting that effort. Ports have consistently championed principles of environmental stewardship and sustainability, and the same holds true now, with water conservation efforts in sharp focus during this critical period in the state.

Our ports are increasing their efforts to address water conservation practices from improving operational efficiencies to encouraging public participation through various outreach programs. System-wide efforts include longstanding green policy initiatives that curtail impacts on water demand, such as the planting of drought-resistant vegetation, the use of recycled water for landscape maintenance, and the employment of water-reducing plumbing. Many ports provide helpful tips on their websites that are easy to implement and at minimal cost. Tips include reducing watering schedules for lawns, drought-tolerant greenery, requesting voluntarily water use reduction by as much as 20%, and using low-flow toilets and water-saving showerheads, among other activities.

Examples of long-term, mid-term and recent improvements to water conservation efforts include:

Adoption of Resolutions to “employ voluntary water usage restraint through various water conservation techniques recommended by the State of California and working with the community, port tenants, and industry partners, to do the same”

Establishment of programs that engage the industry and business partners, such as the Green Business Network, a voluntary program comprised of port tenants that encourages businesses to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability into their daily operations

Adoption of the internationally recognized “Green Port Policy”

Installation of water-reducing plumbing fixtures that use up to 45% less potable water than a conventional office building with standard plumbing fixtures. At one port, this could result in savings of more than 65,000 gallons of potable water per year

Employment of drought-tolerant landscaping

Recirculation or point-of-use hot water system installation to reduce water waste in long piping systems where water must be run for considerable period before heated water reaches the outlet

Computerized irrigation system to check and adjust every irrigation timer from a central location, and individual valves for overages where they may become stuck

California’s ports are committed to outstanding environmental stewardship of the lands they manage. Our ports are employing technologies, techniques, and operations for a modern, green and sustainable freight transportation system. The California Association of Port Authorities stands with Governor Brown in calling on our staff, our tenants and customers, and our neighboring communities to redouble our efforts to conserve water and “to conserve water in every way possible.”

[imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”http://californiapor.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Final-CAPA-Drought-Policy-Statement.pdf” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]Official Statement[/imic_button]