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2018 Education Session Recordings

The Latest in Water Conservation:  New programs, Research, Training, and Advocacy (View Recording)

This presentation will cover research, programs, training, and advocacy of the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the California Water Efficiency Partnership, with the purpose being to provide information and tools to water suppliers needing to undertake water conservation programs to meet their targets. The research currently being conducted covers outdoor water use, cooling technologies, graywater system cost effectiveness, predictive analytics, state policy analysis, the national economic benefit of water efficiency programs, and avoided cost. The programs currently offered for utility participation cover AMI implementation, revenue stable rates that promote conservation, commercial kitchens water efficiency, water neutral development, and community based social marketing for landscape conservation. The training programs currently underway include a Peer-to-Peer training workshop to be held in May and numerous webinars throughout 2018. The advocacy efforts focus on the fight to retain the federal WaterSense program and to get tax exemption status for water conservation rebates.

Speaker: Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency

Water Conservation Case Studies: Achieved Savings and Lessons Learned (View Recording)

This session continues a long-standing Water Showcase tradition of hosting educational sessions that feature recently-completed, cutting-edge building projects. These case study projects will include water-savings data and other performance metrics that quantify the projects’ successes. The engineers representing their work will also provide candid assessments of lessons learned that are informing their current and future designs.

The MacDonald Island project, located in Alberta, Canada represents the first combination of direct water reuse with a District Energy Sharing System (DESS) that recovers 240 kW of heat energy while reducing capital expense by $3M. In NYC an existing in-building treatment and reuse system at The Solaire, a LEED Platinum residential tower located in Battery Park, has been retro-fitted to recover water heat energy for domestic hot water heating purposes. This presentation will explore the performance of these heat recovery applications and how, for the first time, they make onsite water treatment and reuse systems net energy producers.

The Bullitt Center, the largest and first commercial building to achieve Living Building certification, integrates rainwater, greywater and composting toilet systems into the building’s design. This session will explore the anticipated water usage vs tracked water data and the lessons learned that can be derived from this information. Additionally it will address the regulatory challenges associated with becoming a truly Net Zero Water building.


  • Erica Ross, PAE

  • Eric Hough, Natural Systems Utilities

Workshop on Compost and Mulch for Healthy Soil Management (View Recording)

This interactive workshop session on compost, mulch, soil health, and practices to manage soil for water conservation and quality will feature two experts and your project-application questions. We’ll discuss the benefits of compost and mulch to soil, and explore compost as a soil amendment, biofilter, and mulch, and as a component of sheet mulching and carbon farming/gardening. We’ll also talk about specifying, finding, using, and selecting quality compost and mulch. Model specifications and other resources will be provided. Please bring your compost, mulch and soil questions to this workshop session.


  • Kelly Schoonmaker, Stopwaste

  • Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost

California Climate Variability & Drought; Improving Forecasting (View Recording)

Variability in California's climate will be reviewed, focusing on drought duration and severity in the historically observed record and in longer-term reconstructed paleoclimate records. The hydrology and impacts experienced in some of California's iconic droughts will be covered to summarize lessons learned and needs for drought preparedness and drought response planning. Opportunities for, and scientific advancements in, improving precipitation forecasting to facilitate drought preparedness and response will be discussed.

Speaker: Jeanine Jones, California Department of Water Resources

San Francisco’s Stormwater Management Requirements: seven years of implementation and mainstreaming system-based design (View Recording)

The SFPUC will be presenting an overview of San Francisco’s Stormwater Management Requirements (SMR) and how they relate to state-wide stormwater requirements. We will share relevant information about what types of development projects have been complying with the SMR and how the project have complied via a broad array of green infrastructure approaches and tools. We will present a summary of helpful resources the SFPUC has developed to assist projects effectively meet the SMR including green infrastructure design tools and the recently released construction and maintenance guidelines. Additionally we will step back to illustrate the collaborative design approach that it has been spurred within the development industry, and how this integrative process is inherent to all systems-based projects.


  • Ken Kortkamp, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Polly Perkins, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Jon Ennis, BDE Architecture 

  • Clara Tang, Sherwood Design Engineers

Workshop on Best Practices for Water-use Evaluations of Commercial Facilities (View Recording)

What can a water audit accomplish? This workshop will feature the expertise of three water evaluation experts. One with a focus on plumbing fixtures, one with expertise on kitchen equipment and one with a wealth of experience with cooling towers. This session will focus on water audit best practices for commercial buildings and allow time for audience questions about specific water evaluation activities.

This presentation will include a discussion on how a water audits can help identify leaks, areas of disproportionate consumption, and opportunities for efficiency upgrades; identify degradation of previously efficient plumbing devices; form a basis of efficiency improvement and investment planning (identifies best ROI); and provide a benchmark for measuring water efficiency program successes.


  • Michelle Maddaus, Maddaus Water Management

  • Amin Delagah, Food Service Technology Center

  • Mark Gentili, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Implementing Onsite Water Reuse and Lessons Learned (View Recording)

The panel will discuss lessons learned and successes in implementing Onsite Water Reuse at 181 Fremont and Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. Additionally, The William J. Worthen Foundation will provide insight into the recently-developed “Design Professional’s Practice Guide to Integrating Onsite Water Use and Reuse” or “Water Reuse Practice Guide” as an industry resource.


  • Kyle Pickett, The William J. Worthen Foundation

  • Patrick Flynn, Salesforce Tower 

  • Kelly Dewees, 181 Fremont

  • Amanda Dougherty, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Piper Kujac, Urban Fabrick Inc.

  • Michael Conciatore, Aquacell

Global and Regional Trends with the Water/Energy Nexus  (View Recording)

The global demand for water and energy is projected to grow, but there likely will be significant constraints in our ability to meet it. These constraints will be imposed partly by the connections between water, energy, and climate change. If left unchecked, these connections can exacerbate water and energy demand shortages and climate change impacts.

This session provides a high-level overview of the global water energy nexus. It begins with a discussion of patterns in the energy-for-water supply nexus, followed by a similar discussion of the water-for-energy supply nexus. The session concludes with observations about future trends in the water energy nexus.

PG&E, along with the other Investor-Owned Utilities, have managed various programs and services that have looked at the intersection of water and energy for past 10+ years. This presentation will also discuss PG&E's contribution to water conservation, lessons learned and an Energy Efficiency program administrator's perspective for the utility's role in engaging in the water-energy nexus conversation.


  • Larry Dale, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

  • Carolyn Weiner, Pacific Gas & Electric

Workshop on Native and Other Low-Water Planting Options (View Recording)

This workshop presentation will demonstrate how to create beautiful, low-water landscapes with California native plants that support both wildlife and our community aesthetics. Panelists will include a landscape architect, a landscape contractor and a researcher and advocate with the California Native Plant Society. Session will include a presentation of sample plants, a discussion of how to maintain design objectives while meeting water budgets, and a live demonstration of – a powerful plant database and nursery search tool. Please come to this session with your questions about native and low-water planting options.


  • Dan Gluesenkamp, California Native Plant Society

  • Jennifer de Graaf, ReScape/de Graaf Associates

  • Stewart Winchester, Merritt College/Devil Mountain Nursery

Impact of Climate Change on Street Trees in California  (View Recording

Climate change has the potential to alter the species composition of urban tree populations through a combination of modified precipitation regimes and increased temperatures. This presentation examines the likely changes in composition of common street tree species in California due to increasing temperatures and reduced precipitation. The “space-for-time substitution” method, commonly used I the field of forest ecology was adapted for the study. In the application of the method 16 cities covering the climatic range of the state (“representative city”) were each paired with a “warm city” counterpart, where the climate of today approximates the climate of the representative city in 2099. Of the 140 tree species found, as many as 83 species were found to be unsuitable for the future warmer and drier climate. This change is geographically non-uniform, with greater losses (up to 100% of common species unsuitable for future climate) found in cities away from the ocean coast. The results demonstrate the viability of the space-for-time substitution approach for evaluating possible climate change effects on urban trees, and suggest both an immediate need to re-evaluate the planting palette of street trees, and a long-term imperative to trial new tree species.

Speaker: Dr. Joe McBride, University of California, Berkeley

Lawn Conversion Programs: Accelerating Sustainable Landscape Transformations (View Recording

This panel presentation on “cash for grass” and other landscape transformation programs will include the perspectives of a consultant and researcher, a water district resources specialist, and a representative of a water conservation advocacy organization. This session will discuss the various methods for evaluating turf removal programs and marketing strategies for behavior change campaigns.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency recently finalized a Landscape Transformation Research Project. This study focused on landscape transformation projects such as turf removal and replacement, “cash for grass”, Xeriscape and water wise re-landscaping, and utility sponsored efforts to promote and incentivize reductions in landscape water use. This national research project conducted with 14 water utility participants in North America explored factors that motivate landscape and irrigation changes and documented the changes in water use that actually occurred. Presentation will include results of a web-enacted customer survey of participants and non-participants, savings estimates from across the country, summaries of secondary research on landscape transformation, and guidance on design of future landscape transformation programs. Empirically based answers to the following questions will be addressed with this presentation:

1) What motivates people to change their landscape and irrigation practices to reduce the overall water requirement and usage?
2) What are the reasons and rationale for their landscape choices?
3) What barriers exist to landscape transformation and to utility sponsored programs?
4) What range of water savings can be expected from reducing landscape water requirements?
5) What factors influence the volume of water savings achieved from reducing irrigation requirements?
6) How can water savings be maximized?

In 2015, The California Water Efficiency Partnership (formerly the California Urban Water Conservation Council) began exploring the potential application of Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM), a popular framework for designing successful behavior change campaigns, to help increase water use efficiency at the residential scale and uptake in water conservation programs. CalWEP retained a marketing firm to conduct initial research and additional efforts have since carried forward with DWR funding. To-date, CalWEP has produced a CBSM case-study review, a CBSM pilot framework, and a survey focused on turf conversion and outdoor water use. These resources have been bundled into an off-the-shelf resource package intended to assist water conservation specialist get started on CBSM implementation.

During this session, CalWEP staff will walk attendees through each resource. This includes an overview of some key learning from our detailed CBSM case-study review. Staff will also introduce session attendees to our most recent project: administration of a CBSM customer survey for gaining insights into the perceived benefits and barriers, and knowledge gaps related to sustainable landscaping and outdoor water use. In late 2017, three water agencies representing diverse regions of the state joined CalWEP to pilot the survey and analyze the results. Insights gained from the survey analysis will be used by these agencies to modify outreach targeting specific demographics of their customer base. CalWEP staff will be joined by The City of Long Beach Water Department to provide specific project details and outcomes.


  • Tom Chesnutt, A & N Technical Services, Inc.

  • Lisa Cuellar Menezes, California Water Efficiency Partnership

  • Krista Reger, Long Beach Water

Water Reuse System Design Charrette (View Recording

This interactive session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about design and evaluation of water reuse systems through hands-on practice. Attendees will receive a brief intro to the topic including a review of critical design principles followed by a design challenge based on a real project. Session participants will work in teams to develop a water reuse system concept in response to the challenge. Each team will share their solution with the group, and then the presenters will share the solution alternatives developed by Arup for the same design challenge.


  • Kirstin Weeks, ARUP

  • Matthew Williamson, ARUP

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