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December 10, 2008 > Valley Water helps businesses go green and save greenbacks

Valley Water helps businesses go green and save greenbacks

As a board member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) one of the things I am most proud of is our role as a leader in environmental stewardship. At Valley Water, we consider it our responsibility to offer our community - both residential and commercial - water conservation-related programs and rebates and help them become environmental stewards as well.

For businesses, schools and other non-profit organizations, our rebate programs are designed to make it easier and more affordable to use the most water-efficient devices and technologies, while saving money and water. And by participating in these programs, the institutions are able to align themselves with greener business practices.

Not only do our programs help businesses and institutions save money, but they help them save water as well. And now, more than ever, saving water is critical to the future of this great valley.
California is in a drought and the current forecast for rain doesn't indicate conditions will improve. In addition to the drought, there have been severe restrictions placed on pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which delivers about one-third of the Bay Area's annual water supplies. As a result, Valley Water has had to call for voluntary 10 percent cutbacks in water use.

At a time when both the economy and environment are suffering, local businesses are seizing on the opportunity to cut costs and save water by signing up for one of the many different water conservation rebate programs Valley Water offers.

Recently, the networking giant, Cisco Systems Inc. received a rebate of more than $78,000 by participating in a Valley Water program and adopting the latest weather-based irrigation technology that tailors irrigation scheduling to actual weather conditions specific to the site. The Silver Creek Valley Country Club (SCVCC) HOA saw the immediate benefits of participating in the Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers (WBIC) Rebate Program, when it received a rebate of nearly $39,000. The University of Stanford also participated in the program and received a rebate for the WBIC it installed.

This October, the Doubletree Hotel San Jose joined a growing list of businesses, apartment buildings and schools taking advantage of Valley Water's Commercial High-Efficiency Toilet Installation Program by replacing 503 old, water-guzzling toilets.

With the new toilets provided at no-cost by Valley Water in place, the hotel can now expect to save more than 10,800 gallons per day or nearly 4,000,000 gallons a year, the equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Since the program began in 2004, approximately 820 Santa Clara County businesses and institutions have participated, resulting in the installation of more than 11,000 high-efficiency toilets.

As these examples demonstrate, our water conservation rebate programs result in a win-win situation. By participating in these programs, these businesses and institutions are doing their part to make a difference for the environment, for our water supply and for our future.

In addition to the programs mentioned above, Valley Water offers many other commercial and residential water conservation programs. To learn more about these and other programs, visit www.valleywater.org or call (408) 265-2607, ext. 2554.

As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for Sunnyvale, Alviso, Milpitas, Berryessa/Alum Rock communities, east of Highway 101 to the Evergreen community area. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707.

Director Richard Santos
Santa Clara Valley Water District

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