Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Governor Meets with BOMA and Business Leaders Regarding Drought; New Water Appliance Standards Adopted

Governor Jerry Brown Meets with BOMA and Business Leaders Regarding Drought

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. convened officials representing a broad array of leaders that impact water usage at non-residential properties, including landscape, golf, home and garden, spa and pool, cemetery and mortuary, building and manufacturing, retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Rex Hime, President and CEO of California Business Properties Associations (including BOMA California), was included and represented the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

The Governor set the stage for the discussion by noting, “the key challenge here – aside from getting the water – is to be able to collaborate together. We’re going to rise to the occasion as Californians first and as members of different groups second.”

The meeting was meant to address the state’s first ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions and a series of actions initiated by the state to help conserve water

Hime made it clear that our industry believes that water conservation is not just good public policy but it makes good business sense. He pointed out that numerous internal and external changes have already been done to reduce water needs and that the industry has in some instances already met the reductions sought by the Governor.

Brown stressed it was going to be important to work with the local water agencies in adopting appropriate policies.

The Governor’s initial Executive Order includes measures to help: replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping and old appliances with more water and energy efficient models; cut water use at campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes; prevent potable water irrigation at new developments unless water-efficient drip systems are used; and stop watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Members of the press came into the room at the end of the meeting and asked the Governor and participants questions.

Click here for the news story about the meeting.

New Water Appliance Standards Adopted

California Energy Commission recently approved standards for water appliances (faucets/urinals/toilets) which they estimate will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in 2016. Over time, they estimate water savings to reach 105 billion gallons per year.

The energy efficiency and water standards approved this week requires water appliances to consume less water. Details for each appliance are as follows:
  • Toilets and urinals. Toilets shall not consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush and shall have a waste extraction score of no fewer than 350 grams. Urinals shall not consume more than 0.125 gallons per flush.
  • Residential lavatory faucets shall not exceed 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate.
  • Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans.
  • Public/commercial lavatory faucets shall not exceed 0.5 gallon per minute flow rate.

These standards are effective as of January 1, 2016.

One of BOMA California's main concerns as an industry was to assure that product would be available to meet the demand of new construction. Working with the CEC staff and the manufacturing group, we have been assured that there are almost a dozen companies that are currently producing these products.

Additionally we have an ongoing concern about the impact of low water usage toilets in some older buildings. In some cases the lower water volume does not work efficiency with lateral lines and plumbing that was built for much higher flows. If you are doing a retrofit project you must take care to assure that your facilities can indeed handle the lower water flow.

Click here for a video produced by the CEC explaining the adoption.

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