10-Step Approach for Businesses

Conservation Tips
The City of Poway urges residents and businesses to use water wisely. Southern California’s arid climate, limited water supply, and business and residential water needs are reminders that our water supplies cannot be taken for granted.

Reducing your business water use can also help reduce your operating costs.

Saving water = saving money.
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Following are 10 steps to establish a water conservation program for your business.

1. Make a commitment to water conservation.

Like other programs, in order to be successful there must be a commitment to water conservation from top management. Management should understand that water conservation is necessary and be fully committed to its support.

2. Appoint a Water Conservation Champion.
Companies that assign responsibility for water conservation to an individual have better results than those that do not. Give someone within your organization responsibility for creating, implementing, and maintaining your water conservation program.

3. Determine how and where you use water.
Know how much water is being used for each of your business’s industrial processes and/or domestic needs. To assist you in determining how water is used, consider installing sub-meters. Note that the City of Poway does not read sub-meters; they would be for your information only.

Fifty percent of the drinking water supply is used for outdoor irrigation. Talk with your landscaper about adjusting watering schedules for your business landscaping. Visit SoCal WaterSmart's website to explore incentives for smart irrigation controllers and hardware.

4. Learn about conserving water in the business environment.
More information on water conservation is available on the City of Poway website, and at that of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Learn from businesses that have already established a water conservation plan. Apply these suggestions to your particular business to successfully reduce water consumption.

5. Check your system for leaks.
Leaks can be detected by periodically shutting down all water-using equipment and reading the water meter at intervals of the shutdown. Find information on reading your meter. If the dial on the meter is moving, that indicates you have a leak somewhere in your system. If a leak is located, repair it as soon as possible. Leaks can waste 20 gallons or more per day.

6. Set a conservation goal.
It is important to have realistic water-saving goals, but goals high enough to require substantial effort. Allow these goals to serve as progress reference points. They will illustrate the effectiveness of your water conservation program. 

7. Involve your employees.
Teach water awareness. Posting signs throughout facilities creates awareness of water conservation among employees. Encouraging employees to think of ways to save water at work may generate effective strategies. Once employees start thinking about their water use, water consumption usually decreases. Involving your employees in water conservation at work will also encourage them to save water at home.

8. Install low-flow devices.
Use toilet tank displacement devices or install vacuum flush toilets. If you already have these types of toilets, make sure they are adjusted to use the minimum amount of water required per flush. All showering facilities should be equipped with low-flow showerheads. Showerheads with on-off valves provide the opportunity to conserve more water than those without. Similar measures should be taken for all faucet fixtures.

9. Be aware of water efficient equipment.
As you replace equipment, be mindful of how much water the new equipment will use. Equipment manufacturers are more aware of the need for water conservation and are designing equipment that requires less water. Examine all possibilities. You may find that you have a choice in your equipment purchases, and water conservation could be a determining factor in the selection process. SoCal WaterSmart's website includes more information on the many available incentives.

10. Monitor your results.

Each water bill includes your consumption history. Track this history to see how you are doing compared to last year during the same billing period. Use charts, graphs, and other records to keep track of your conservation progress.