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Condos and Apartments Get Personal Drought Reports

| News | August 28, 2014

Keeping customers informed about the state requirement to cut back on water use is the goal for a new service by a local business. Valencia Water Company today announced it is expanding its “personal drought report” to businesses and residents who live in condominiums and apartments. The highly individualized reports specify how much water must be saved this year to meet Governor Brown’s call to save 20 percent during California’s unprecedented drought.

“We started issuing the drought reports with 26,000 of our customers,” said Matt Dickens, Valencia Water Company’s resource conservation manager. “We need folks to save about 175 gallons a week.”

The reports are informational only.

“There’s no enforcement issue, but rather it’s designed to give our customers the best information available. Our customers understand we’re in a very serious, exceptional drought,” said Dickens.

It is the intention of Valencia Water Company to inform residents of the ease with which they can make changes. A simple, five-minute test where a resident places dye in a toilet tank, for instance, could detect a leak, which can cause the loss of thousands of gallons of water.

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“If the water of that color (dye) seeps into the bowl, that’s indicative of a leak,” said Dickens. “It can usually be fixed in five minutes for about five bucks.”

The drought reports also contain several helpful tips and details about rebates – all to make it easy for business and residential customers to save water without impacting operations or lifestyle. For example, apartment and condominium residents can reduce their water use by 175 gallons a week simply by taking shorter showers, using only full loads for laundry and dishes, turning off the faucet when washing hands or brushing teeth, and making sure their toilets are not leaking. One leaking toilet can waste between 200 and 6,000 gallons a day.

“Valencia Water Company customers already are taking important steps to save water during this historic drought. We thank everyone with their efforts so far, but we still have a long way to go,” said Keith Abercrombie, Valencia Water Company’s general manager. “Expanding the personal drought report to all customers will provide the level of detail they need to take real action.”

Valencia’s largest customer group – homeowners – began receiving personal drought reports more than a month ago. For business customers, the drought report is utilizing a computer program analyzing a company’s water use and other factors to create very specific amounts of water to save to meet the 20 percent target. Since condo and apartment residents either don’t have individual water meters or their “water footprint” doesn’t significantly vary from building to building, Valencia Water Company is delivering drought reports to those residents with a more general water-savings target.

“Although it’s a financial investment for local businesses, they can and should take extra steps to save water by installing high-efficiency toilets, high-efficiency irrigation equipment and faucet aerators,” said Dickens. “The good news is that these long-term investments in water efficiency will pay for themselves in little time.”

Dickens said he is hopeful that apartment and condominium residents will recognize that although they may not receive a detailed water bill directly from Valencia Water Company and they likely can’t control landscape irrigation at their units, they can still make positive impacts during these extreme drought conditions.

“This drought is affecting everyone, and the only way we’re going to be able to beat this thing is when everyone does their part to save every drop of water possible,” Dickens said. “We are prepared to work with apartment owners and management companies to implement, as needed, easy fixes that will save significant amounts of water.”

More details are available on the Valencia Water Company website www.valenciawater.com or by calling 661-294-0828.

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