2020 Water Conservation Showcase
Session Schedule Announcement


July 21, August 4, 18 and 25


Register to attend online

Due to concerns about hosting large gatherings and shelter-in-place mandates, this year’s Water Conservation Showcase will be transformed into a virtual event with online presentations. We will be announcing the schedule of presentations as part of a special webinar on April 7 (the original date for this year’s showcase). This hour-long presentation will review the topics, speakers, dates and timing for each presentation. We also plan to include a few fun and educational, interactive activities. By April 7 the schedule of presentations and other event details will be posted at the Water Showcase website waterconservationshowcase.com.

The Water Conservation Showcase is a free event and is organized through the combined efforts of the U.S. Green Building Council Northern California, East Bay Municipal Utility District, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Committee on the Environment from the local American Institute of Architects chapter, the City of San Jose's Water Resources Division and the PG&E Pacific Energy Center.








Attend the 17th Annual Water Conservation Showcase online on July 21, August 4, 18 and 25, 2020.

Registration cost is FREE - Sign up now!


Water is a limited natural resource heavily impacted by the built environment.

Using sustainable practices in a building's development speaks to

the triple bottom line — people, profit & planet. 

Since 2004, hundreds of advocates, researchers, business leaders, product manufacturers and government officials have gathered every year to address the most pressing water issues and challenges facing the state of California. Grab a ticket today for the showcase to learn more about scalable strategies and solutions to conserve one of Earth's most precious resources.



Session Schedule Announcement

July 21, August 4, 18 and 25


Virtual Presentation




Approved by GBCI for 13 CE credits. AIA learning units pending. 

DWR Overview of the New Conservation Framework

Speakers: Peter Brostrom, Tia Lebherz

Host: Julie Ortiz

7/21/20 |  9:00 am - 10:20 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.

Attend this panel for an update and conversation with the Department of Water Resources and California Water Efficiency Partnership on the direction of water efficiency and supply in California. The speakers will cover implementation of the state’s new conservation framework.

Analysis of MWELO: Is It Working?

Speakers: Dave Langridge, Julie Saare-Edmonds

Host: Charles Bohlig

7/21/20 | 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.

In this session, data will be presented on more than 150 MWELO landscape installations at both the 70% and 45% reference ET. We will review their water savings (or not?) and present our findings and paths forward for the success of this ordinance.

Workshop: Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certification Program

Speakers: Lisa Cueller, Greg Plumb

Host: Julie Ortiz

7/21/20 | 12:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Watch Now: Preview this session here.


Did you hear that QWEL is rolling out across the Bay Area? Attendees of this interactive workshop will learn how this EPA WaterSense recognized certification program is empowering professionals with the skills to save water outdoors while creating thriving landscapes. 

The workshop facilitators will use a few examples from the newly revamped QWEL curriculum to lead participants through hands on exercises that will illustrate some of the key take-aways of the QWEL program. With the recent launch of a new regional Bay Area QWEL program, now is a great time to learn more about what’s involved in becoming QWEL certified and the value of obtaining certification.

Watersheds as Engagement Tool

Speakers: Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty, Cari Simson, Kat Sawyer

Host: Ryan Stroupe

8/4/20 | 9:00am - 10:20am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.

Too often, the concept and practices of water conservation and reuse are introduced in an environmental vacuum, lacking the deeper context of ʺwhy we conserveʺ. In this panel, we’ll be focusing on watershed health and connecting people to both their local watershed ecosystems as well as the watershed(s) ecosystems that provide potable water and ongoing motivation for conservation and reuse. We’ll be looking at case studies from California watersheds.

Stormwater Bioretention Systems

Speaker: Peter Schultze-Allen

Host: Ryan Stroupe

8/4/20 | 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.


Rain gardens, bioretention areas, stormwater planters and green roofs, referred to as green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), provide

a multitude of benefits to the urban landscape. This session will review GSI terminology, state and local regulations, and steps to design, install and maintain a successful GSI system. Several examples of successful projects will be shown, and attendees are encouraged to bring their questions.

Workshop: Plant Talk

Speakers: Milena Fiore, Cielo Sichi, Sarah Sutton

Host: Ryan Stroupe

8/4/20 | 12:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Watch Now: Preview this session here.


Do you have a burning question you’ve always wanted to ask a landscape design or maintenance expert? Have a question about a specific plant or landscape challenge where nothing seems to work no matter what you do? Styled after NPR’s long-running and popular “Car Talk” program, this session is designed to address landscape, garden and plant questions from attendees. We will also include a guest panelist,

a garden-based puzzler and a “stump the chumps” segment with gifts if you win! If you are unfamiliar with “Car Talk”, go here:  https://www.cartalk.com/ or check out these recordings of the show. Because we can substantiate questions with visuals, participants can submit photographs, diagrams and other descriptive information related to your inquiry. Send plant and landscape questions and visuals to Ryan Stroupe at r2s2@pge.com in advance of August 4. This session was developed by and with experts from ReScape California, a non-profit organization that educates about and advocates for a whole-systems approach to landscaping.

How to Build Your Career in the Water Industry

Speakers: Lindsey Fransen, Michael Kushner, Earnest Salgado, Ashley Shannon

Host: Julie Ortiz

8/18/20 | 9:00 am - 10:20 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.

This session is geared towards those seeking jobs or changing jobs within the water industry. The goal is to provide information about how to enter or advance along various career paths, including but not limited to conservation and water efficiency, by sharing individual stories from current staff in water utilities and private industry, and learning about strategies and resources from BAYWORK, a collaborative of water and wastewater utilities working together to ensure workforce reliability.  A BAYWORK representative will provide an overview about resources and training opportunities and other panelists will discuss how they got their current positions, the skills and education they needed, what they learned on the job, as well as internship, job opportunities, and career resources available to people seeking positions at their organizations.


Water and Energy Nexus: Applications and Outcomes

Speakers: Jack Aitchison, Cielo Sichi

Host: Ryan Stroupe

8/18/20 | 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.​

While it is generally understood that conserving water has significant energy-saving benefits, there is limited data on project specifics.

This presentation panel will explore water- and energy-saving strategies across a wide range of facility types. Each speaker will share implementation details, performance data and lessons learned.


Workshop: Smart Controllers-Wi-Fi Controllers - Secrets to Success

Speaker: Jim Borneman

Host: Kurt Elvert

8/18/20 | 12:00 pm to 1:20pm

Watch Now: Preview this session here.​

We now have at our disposal a myriad of ordinances and water conserving technologies to aid landscape managers in conserving precious landscape water. Smart Controllers and those with Wi-Fi capabilities are important tools in the battle to keep water use down. Fundamental

to the successful operation of these controllers are the variety of field inputs that must be provided by the landscape manager. The controllers can only be effective if they are properly programmed. This session will educate those in attendance on techniques to develop more accurate inputs, specifically as it relates to irrigation application rates and plant water requirements.


The California State of Onsite Water Reuse
Speakers: Taylor Chang, Lauren Swezey, Andrew Tranovich

Host: Allan Robles

8/25/20 | 9:00 am - 10:20 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.​

Water supplies are strained, climates and weather patterns are changing, and populations are moving and growing – especially in Northern California. Onsite treatment is a cost-effective and safe strategy that has proven effective in meeting water quality standards while reducing the need for potable water and the energy consumed in its delivery. Onsite treatment uses similar principles and technologies that have been used to treat water/wastewater in our municipal systems for decades but at the site level. This panel will walk through specific water reuse examples in northern California that are in operation, lessons learned from these projects, as well as current and near-term legislation to support these types of implementations.

Emerging Technologies in the Water Sector

Speakers: Robb Barnitt, Luke Sires

Host: Jolene Bertetto

8/25/20 | 10:30 am - 11:50 am

Watch Now: Preview this session here.​

This session will provide a look at how automated metering infrastructure is being utilized to improve customer engagement and water analytics. Luke Sires from EBMUD will give an overview of EBMUD’s AMI and Flowmeter pilot programs, including program objectives, customer portal basics, leak alerts, and targeted outreach. Robb Barnitt from Dropcountr will introduce innovative data visualization tools.

Workshop: Laundry to Landscape

Speakers: Justin Burks, Earnest Salgado

Host: Kurt Elvert

8/25/20 | 12:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Watch Now: Preview this session here.​

Justin Burks of Valley Water and Earnest Salgado of SFPUC will talk about two water agencies’ Graywater Laundry-to-Landscape Programs including program highlights, overall results, and what is involved in the process of converting a part of a landscape into a laundry-to-landscape graywater system. In addition to program details, the session panel will discuss graywater system components, ideal site specifications and logistics that will make installing an L2L graywater system easier, key findings from agency surveys, and lessons learned over the past several years of offering the program to single family residents.



Andrew Tranovich, PE
Senior Project Manager,
Hollins Consulting (prev. Southland)

Ashley Shannon

Water Conservation Specialist

Santa Clara Valley Water

Allan Robles

Senior Sustainability Analyst, 

Urban Fabrick, Inc.

Cari Simson
Owner & Principal Consultant,
Urban Systems Design

Cielo Sichi
Landscape Architect,

Dr. Elizabeth Dougherty
Executive Director,
Wholly H2O

Dave Langridge
Water Conservation Represenative,
East Bay Municipal Utility District

Earnest Salgado
Utility Analyst,

Gregory Plumb
Water Use Efficiency Programs Specialist,
Sonoma Water

Jack Aitchison
Energy Analyst,
Association for Energy Affordability

Jim Borneman
Trainer & VP Emeritus,

Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply

Julie Saare-Edmonds
Senior Environmental Scientist,
CA Department of Water Resources

Justin Burks
Water Conservation Specialist,
Valley Water 

Kat Sawyer 

Program Manager, 

The Watershed Project

Lauren Swezey
Sustainabliity & Landscape Project Lead,

Lindsey Fransen
Director - Customer Success,

Lisa Cuellar
Senior Program Manager,
California Water Efficiency Partnership

Luke Sires
Water Conservation Representative
East Bay Municipal Utility District

Milena Fiore

Executive Director

ReScape California

Peter Brostrom
Water Use Efficiency Manager
California Department of Water Resources

Sarah Minick
Utility Planning Division Manager
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Tia Lebherz
Executive Director

External Affairs
California Water Efficiency Partnership

Taylor Chang

Water Resources Analyst

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission






the 2020 Water Conservation Showcase 

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© 2017 U.S. Green Building Council,  For Questions /  Contact us at northerncalifornia@usgbc.org

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