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Water Conservation Program exceeds standards

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MARCOA Media
Story by Laurie Pearson on 08/08/2019
Although initially implemented by the California Drought State of Emergency which went into effect in 2014, water conservation continues to be a key focus aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.

In 2015, after an extended drought in California, the Commanding General sent out a drought response letter to bases such as MCLB Barstow, which were impacted by the drought. "Installations were instructed to take immediate action to implement measures to reduce water usage," said Tony Mesa, Energy Manager for the base. "We immediately and drastically reduced and cut out irrigation in many areas and executed multiple xeriscaping projects."

Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping which reduces, or in some cases eliminates, the need for watering or irrigating, he explained. Some people also call it "desertscaping." "In 2017, following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rainfall and snow levels, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. ended the drought state of emergency in most of California," Mesa said.

Although the drought mandates were lifted for this area, the conservation efforts continue.

"Executive Order 13834 came into effect May 17, 2018," Mesa said. "Before that, we were complying with EO 136383. They cover both, energy and water. They basically state that, as one of our Goals for Agencies, we will continue to reduce potable and non-potable water use for the base. Marine Corps Installations remain committed to adhering to those previous goals of reducing potable water use by 2.5 percent annually until 2025."

It is important to note that adverse actions can be taken if individuals or groups neglect to conserve appropriate resources, to include water. "As part of the Environmental Compliance Evaluations conducted on Base, one of the items on the checklist is to ensure personnel on base are following water conservation procedures," said Jason Thompson, director of the Environmental Division on base. "Organizations can be reported if Environmental Inspectors find that the organizations are not following base procedures for conserving water. This can range from excess water run-off, to not reporting leaking faucets, or broken sprinklers just to name a few."

The following are several ideas to help conserve water while at work or at home.

Watering tips:
Water early in the morning or later in
the evening
Make sure your sprinklers are not
watering streets, sidewalks and driveways
Make sure to turn off sprinklers on days
of rain
Install a rain sensor that will automatically shut sprinklers off
Inspect for leaks or broken pipes
Seasonal watering - reduce watering in winter or shut it off depending on plants
Use drip lines and timers to avoid overwatering

Home water conservation tips:
Replace older toilets, washers and dishwashers with water-efficient options
Check for and repair leaks
Install aerators on your bathroom and kitchen faucets
Take shorter showers
Install high-efficiency shower heads
Don't let faucets run unnecessarily

For additional information about water conservation on base, or in the local community, contact Tony Mesa, Energy Manager at 760 577-6183.

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