top of page

2020 Education Session Recordings

The full archive of 2020 recordings can be accessed here:

DWR Overview of the New Conservation Framework (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Peter Brostrom, Tia Lebherz

Host: Julie Ortiz

Analysis of MWELO: Is It Working? (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Dave Langridge, Julie Saare-Edmonds

Host: Charles Bohlig

Workshop: Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) Certification Program (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Lisa Cueller, Greg Plumb

Host: Julie Ortiz

Watersheds as Engagement Tool (View Recording)

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.

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

Host: Ryan Stroupe

Stormwater Bioretention Systems (View Recording)

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.

Speaker: Peter Schultze-Allen

Host: Ryan Stroupe

Workshop: Plant Talk (View Recording)

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: 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 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.

Speakers: Milena Fiore, Cielo Sichi, Sarah Sutton

Host: Ryan Stroupe

How to Build Your Career in the Water Industry (View Recording)

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.

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

Host: Julie Ortiz

Water and Energy Nexus: Applications and Outcomes (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Jack Aitchison, Cielo Sichi

Host: Ryan Stroupe

Workshop: Smart Controllers-Wi-Fi Controllers - Secrets to Success (View Recording)

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.

Speaker: Jim Borneman

Host: Kurt Elvert

The California State of Onsite Water Reuse  (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Taylor Chang, Lauren Swezey, Andrew Tranovich

Host: Allan Robles

Emerging Technologies in the Water Sector (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Robb Barnitt, Luke Sires

Host: Jolene Bertetto

Workshop: Laundry to Landscape (View Recording)

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.

Speakers: Justin Burks, Earnest Salgado

Host: Kurt Elvert

bottom of page