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2019 Education Session Recordings

Water Efficient Home of the Future (View Recording)

"How low can we go? This presentation will explore remaining opportunities for indoor residential water use savings. While plumbing code changes have significantly reduced residential consumption over the past decades, studies and industry and utility conservation programs show water efficiency opportunities remain. Panelists will discuss trends in indoor water use, home appliance and water fixture innovations, and how to put technology to use in reducing water waste from plumbing leaks.

 Session will include a perspective on national urban water demands and residential indoor water use including findings and implications from the most recent large residential end use studies published by the Water Research Foundation. An overview of the latest trends in product design and technology that can deliver the next wave of indoor water efficiency will be shared along with a perspective on the opportunities and challenges their widespread adoption will create. Discussion will include new ideas to capture the still unmet opportunities for water savings from traditional approaches such as fixture replacement programs."


  • Peter Mayer, WaterDM

  • Kevin Galvin, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Rob Zimmerman, Kohler Co

Firescaping: The Essentials of Community-Wide Fire Protection (View Recording)

As California’s population and temperatures continue to grow, so does the likelihood of wildfires. The ten most costly wildfires in U.S. history have all occurred in California—and the top 5 within the last 2 years. Join Douglas Kent, author of "Firescaping," as he highlights the essential qualities of a protected property and community. Kent has been visiting the aftermaths of wildfires in California since 1996, and every one of those journeys has provided a lesson. He will be focusing on the design and maintenance attributes of roads, structures and defensible space. He will also be highlighting community obligations.


  • Douglas Kent, Douglas Kent+Associates


Onsite Water Reuse: Benefits, Ownership, Delivery Models, Permitting and Other Considerations (View Recording)

"This panel presentation will explore national trends, new water re-use standards, system design details, water treatment concerns, other best practices and lessons learned from past project work. Panel will feature insights from three engineers that design these systems and two water utility representatives that have developed standards and worked on water re-use projects.

This presentation provides an overview of San Francisco’s Non-potable Water Program, which is a first-of-its-kind OneWater effort. Onsite non-potable water systems provide an opportunity for buildings to reduce their potable water consumption, improve their stormwater management capacity, and provide water that is fit-for-purpose for uses such as toilet flushing and irrigation. The Non-Potable Program was developed to provide oversight and management for onsite water systems, which are becoming increasingly popular as both a component of green building frameworks, and as part of utilities’ water management portfolios. San Francisco now requires onsite non-potable water systems in all new developments larger than 250,000 square feet, and provides technical assistance, permitting, and ongoing oversight of these systems in the city.

As part of the Non-Potable Program, San Francisco has recently adopted a risk-based framework for pathogen treatment requirements to ensure that all onsite reuse systems are protective of public health. This presentation will clarify how these risk-based treatment requirements help ensure water that is fit-for-purpose for non-potable end uses. In addition, it will describe other key water quality and treatment considerations that are critical for onsite system implementation. Finally, the presentation will discuss lessons learned from implementing the Non-Potable Program and ongoing opportunities for program evaluation and improvement.

To more confidently make commitments to water and sewer infrastructure investments, developers and owners must understand the best way to deliver these investments for their project. Where existing water and sewer infrastructure does not have the capacity needed to support a development, investments are required. To determine the type of investment needed, a sometimes complex entitlement process unfolds often with unpredictable outcomes. This uncertainty is a risk that often fast-tracked development projects cannot afford. Where onsite water reuse systems are recommended or required, they can be structured and delivered to introduce more certainty into the water entitlements process.

As satellites of the existing water and sewer networks, onsite water reuse systems bolster regional infrastructure and contribute to future water supply and wastewater treatment needs in increasingly dense urban centers. Cities and regional utility districts stand to benefit from this private investment by the potential to defer expensive capital improvement projects (CIPs). Onsite non-potable water systems can be a transformative opportunity that may drive developers away from business as usual thinking. However, these benefits may not be realized if systems are implemented without considering all driving forces.

Panel will also include a discussion of several different project procurement approaches for small scale distributed non potable water recycling projects, including the traditional, design/bid/build approach; design/build approach, and lastly the design/build/operate approach. Panelists will also discuss the pros and cons of each approach and use of water purchase agreements for these types of projects."


  • DTaylor Chang, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Sarah Triolo, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Amelia Luna, Sherwood Design Engineers

  • Don Berger, West Yost

  • Peter Hasse, Acqualogic/Kanso Water Technologies

Bay Area Water Conservation & Reuse Awards (View Recording)

Recognizing the primacy of water to the health and economic vitality of the Bay Area and to the environment, the Bay Area Water Conservation & Reuse Awards (formerly the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards) are presented to organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals whose programs and leadership have advanced water conservation and reuse in the Bay Area. Our coalition represents a diverse cross-section of respected parties concerned about water supply and the need for a strategic response to droughts, climate change, and a new era of water scarcity. The goal of the Awards is to raise awareness and celebrate outstanding achievements in water conservation and reuse through best practices, efficiency, and innovation.


  • Pedro Hernandez, City of San Jose

Lawn Not Letting the Grass Grow Under Their Feet: Panel on Innovative Residential Landscape Programs (View Recording)

Attend this session to learn about residential landscape programs offered by three water utilities: Contra Costa, Sonoma County Water Agency and the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities. Programs include landscape design assistance, design templates and lawn to garden rebates. Session will highlight program requirements for both landscape designers and customers and feature water savings data and other program benefits.


  • Chris Dundon, Contra Contra Water District

  • William Granger, City of Sacramento

  • Carrie Pollard, Sonoma Water

Water Nominees for “Water Champions” Award Showcase Their Work (View Recording)

"The Bay Area Water Conservation & Reuse Award selects one “Water Champion” annually. This award is given to individuals in the private or public sector whose conservation/reuse efforts inspire the community to use water more wisely. This session will feature presentations by Water Champion nominees, highlighting the efforts that made them exemplary candidates. The following “Water Champion” nominees will be featured as part of this session:


Paula Kehoe of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is nominated for her unwavering support and policy actions that helped establish San Francisco’s Non-potable Water Program.


Michelle Maddaus is President of Maddaus Water Management Inc., an engineering firm that specializes in water conservation. Michelle has trained over 1,000 professionals on how to identify and find solutions for the equipment and program needs of water customers through Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional water efficiency surveys and cost-benefit studies.


The William J. Worthen Foundation, released of “A Design Professional’s Guide to Onsite Water Use and Reuse” on January 19, 2018 as a free resource for the design community. The goal of this guide is to make the design, value and benefits of cost-effective integration of onsite water reuse systems a core competency for architects and engineers."


  • Michelle Maddaus, Maddaus Water Management, Inc.

  • Kyle Pickett, The William J. Worthen Foundation

  • Paula Kehoe, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission


Water Metering Innovation and Best Practices (View Recording)

"A pair of water metering experts will share their perspectives on best practices and lessons learned from their past project work. One panelist will represent a California water district that has used AMI and GIS data to reduce apparent water loss across its service territory. The other speaker will share insights on the application of water meters at multi-family facilities which are now required to have tenant-level submeters in California.


This session will cover Rancho California Water District’s innovative approach to reducing apparent water loss. The Revenue Protection Program (RPP) was initiated in mid-2017 and continues to be enhanced every day. The main objectives of the RPP are to protect and recover District revenue, to reduce apparent water loss, and to optimize the effectiveness of meter asset management. An unexpected, but very positive result of the program is the hundreds of acre feet of projected water savings that has been achieved by returning customer consumption to historical normalcy. Traditionally, for a water agency to identify malfunctioning meters, multiple staff members were required to not only make observations in the field, but also to pair those observations with manually collected meter data. While this intensely manual process could, in some cases, help to identify a meter that had stopped registering completely, it could seldom help to identify a meter that had degraded and would fail in the future. Using the new RPP software and relatively few staff hours, RCWD has successfully accomplished both of these things through the implementation of automated processes that utilize a combination of AMI data and often updated geospatial data. Not only has the program been successful in protecting millions of dollars in District revenue, it has helped to identify why meters are failing and predict when others are prone to failure in the future. Staff are now able to implement a more strategic approach that prolongs meter life and saves money.


With utilities representing the single largest controllable cost in a multi-family properties, building owners and managers are increasingly using new and sophisticated submetering systems that give them both visualization and control of water usage. This successful approach to conservation is based on driving both tenants and property managers to make behavioral changes. Tenants are incentivized to conserve water since they are held accountable for their individual usage, and property managers are able to take proactive water-saving maintenance measures since they receive daily leak-detection reports. This presentation describes the latest wireless technologies and cloud-based monitoring systems that are driving tremendous water reductions and savings in multi-family facilities. The presentation will also provide a regulatory update on SB7 in California, which requires all new construction multi-family facilities to be sub-metered starting on 1/1/18. Case studies will include properties around the country featuring both new construction and retrofit projects. Presentation will show the differences in submetering and conservation techniques in market rate apartments as well as affordable housing and student housing projects."


  • Tyson Heine, Rancho California Water District

  • Don Millstein, H2O Degree

The Water/Energy Nexus: Lessons from Southern California (View Recording)

"Session will explore large proposed projects in southern California that will save energy and water and limit the transport of water across our state. Projects include a greater use of local water supplies and water recycling. Water and energy savings projections will be shared.


In Los Angeles (LA), water and energy management are highly connected. Water imports to the region from some sources are highly energy intensive, while local infrastructure uses energy to move and purify water and wastewater. In future decades, the region will likely increase water conservation and shift to greater use of local water supplies, which may have associated energy use benefits. This presentation will present findings from research in Los Angeles (LA) showing effects of future water supply alternatives on regional energy use. It will demonstrate how to calculate energy use needs for urban water supply across a metropolitan area, including both utilities and households. The presented results will show the effects that electrifying in-home natural gas water heaters would have on energy use and implications for electric grid operations in LA County. Finally, case studies of water conservation during the drought will show how best practices for urban water management may yield energy use benefits, along with challenges in analyzing large-scale water supply systems with hundreds of water providers.


With the Local Water Reliability Act now in place, and ambitious goals like the City of Los Angeles’ intention to reuse all of its wastewater by 2035, water recycling will continue to grow as a crucial part of every water supply portfolio in California. Simultaneously, the California State Water Resources Control Board is considering regulations enabling wider use of this supply, especially via direct potable reuse. This presentation will examine the water supply benefit of direct potable reuse, but also consider the energy implications for water managers and the grid. We will highlight potential technology alternatives and discuss developing predictions for energy use at any site. Our work goes on to translate this to a case study of Los Angeles and demonstrates not only how the state can realize water supply and resiliency benefits through water recycling, but also how it can do the same for energy."


  • Erik Porse, OWP at Sacramento State

  • Nicholas Chow, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation

Soil Remediation for Water Conservation and Heathier Gardens (View Recording)

This iThis session will outline soil best management practices for improving water conservation and establishing healthier plants. How these techniques meet the requirements of the state’s Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and the optimal use of compost and mulch will also be discussed. The workshop will illustrate both application and product specifications as well as how to properly purchase and evaluate compost and mulch products. The session will include an interactive portion where participants can pose project specific questions about compost, mulch, MWELO compliance and other soil concerns.


  • Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates Inc.

  • Kelly Schoonmaker, Stopwaste

Implementation of LEED Water Efficiency Credits for LEED v4.1 (View Recording)

This iThis This session will begin with a brief review of the LEED water efficiency (WE) credits and the changes adopted in LEED version 4.1 (v4.1). Then, participants will collaborate in a design charrette activity where they will choose the best WE credits to apply to a defined project. This activity will connect LEED v4.1 water requirements to market trends and emerging technology, highlighting both positive and negative aspects of key design choices, facility management decisions and water management best practices for practitioners and professionals working on all stages of the building life cycle. Speakers will highlight recent developments in water sensors and meters and the advantages of sub-metering. More importantly, speakers will highlight the connections between water efficiency and water quality. Finally, speakers will describe current strategies and opportunities for implementation of alternative water systems for projects seeking LEED certification.


  • David Holtzclaw, Transduction Technologies

  • Patrick Boyle, Sloan

  • Amy Nagengast, Bright Power

Design Charrette on Residential Landscapes (View Recording)

"Workshop session will highlight a number of landscape and plant challenges and then ask the training participants to address these challenges in a mini-design charrette. Session panelists include a landscape designer, a landscape and urban designer that is also a licensed contractor and a California native plant and horticulture enthusiast. Topics to be covered in this session will include:


• Common considerations & responses landscape designers consider when meeting with clients for an initial consultation to discuss a potential drought tolerant garden.

• A paradigm shift on what is possible water- and irrigation-wise in a landscape.

• An overview of how plants from Mediterranean climates (and summer-dry desert climates) both require a period of no rainfall for survival and have evolved in unique ways to survive that period of no rainfall.

• Examples of what happens to very common garden plants that are irrigated in the summer but that are from summer-dry climates.

• Case study examples of irrigation-free landscapes that include best practices for this approach.

• How California native plants are the foundation of ecosystems, but are rarely used in urban landscaping.

• Tips and tricks for success with California native plant landscapes while supporting local ecology, conserving water, and protecting watersheds."


  • Kelly Marshall, Kelly Marshall Garden Design

  • Kristen Wernick, California Native Plant Society

  • John Kamp, Prairieform

Rainwater Harvesting: Care of Water Through Understanding and Science that Fosters Healthier and More Resilient Communities (View Recording)

"Led by two rainwater experts, this workshop will identify best practices and lessons learned from the implementation of rainwater collection systems across a range of projects scales and in a variety of climates. Topics covered in this session will include:


• An understanding of the science behind a healthy rainwater harvesting system.

• Rainwater harvesting systems are scalable and that only the size of the equipment changes for larger systems.

• Education should be a part of every rainwater harvesting system whether it is a demonstration system at a school or a large system feeding a cooling tower at a mixed-use development.

• Harvested rainwater is a commodity to be well cared for while it is in our hands.

• Rainwater catchment is a strategy for making cities more resilient and better aligned with nature.

• Harvesting rainwater helps relieve pressure on urban water infrastructure, slowing down runoff in heavy rains so that it can be released and used later.

• Examples of water collection and re-use that have already been installed in the Bay Area through programs that encourage residents to install simple graywater and rainwater catchment systems.

• New building codes and regulations that have changed the way buildings are designed, making them more water efficient and requiring that they manage stormwater onsite with green infrastructure."


  • Benjamin Sojka, Rainwater Management Solutions

  • Kat Sawyer, The Watershed Project

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