Meeting Date:

October 15, 2007


Funds are available through reimbursement agreement with CAW under SR7 (see below)



David A. Berger,

General Manager


Promote Best Management Practices



Line Item No.:    





Prepared By:

Robert Cline

Cost Estimate:



Stephanie Pintar




General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on October 4, 2007 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY: District Rule No. 172 requires landscape water audits and landscape water budgets to be offered by the District and/or California American Water (CAW) or their agent free of charge to all water users of CAW.  All dedicated landscape meters, large irrigated areas over three acres, and all large residential water users that use more than 32 units per month average are required to participate and are required to adhere to their water budgets during Stages 2 and higher of the Expanded Water Conservation and Standby Rationing Plan.  Use in excess of the established landscape water budget is considered water waste and is subject to water waste fees and enforcement. CAW has completed approximately 1/3 of the audits/water budgets required by since the rule was adopted in 1999. 


The District and CAW’s staff have identified completion of the pending landscape water audits/budgets as a top priority.  The landscape water budget is the key component of Stage 2 of the Expanded Water Conservation and Standby Rationing Program.  A Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA) is required to supervise both the landscape irrigation audit and the preparation of the landscape water budget.  Due to other customer service needs, CAW’s CLIAs have been unable to complete all of the audits/budgets.  District staff has been meeting with CAW to implement a plan to achieve compliance with this requirement by contracting with local certified landscape irrigation auditors and by using use-or-lose funds from CAW’s conservation surcharge.  District staff contacted CLIAs in the 831 and 408 area codes who were not already employed with another water company or agency to solicit assistance with this project.  Pacific Water Management (PWM) and Spot Water Management (SWM) both responded.


The District has funding from calendar year 2007 to contract with the auditors from the conservation surcharge approved in CAW’s last general rate case:  CAW does not have similar revenues at this time.  Additional funding will be available to the District from the conservation surcharge beginning January 1, 2008. 

RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends the Board authorize the General Manager to negotiate and enter into contracts with PWM and SWM in a not-to-exceed amount of $300,000 for the purpose of completing Landscape Water Audits and Landscape water budgets to comply with the requirements set forth in District Rule 172.  If approved, this project is expected to begin without delay and be completed by next April.  District staff holding the CLIA certification will oversee the contractors.  District staff will work with CAW to cost share this endeavor during calendar 2008 and beyond to reduce the cost impact of these contracts on other planned conservation programs in the next calendar year.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:  Funding is available through reimbursement by CAW through the conservation surcharge approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as Special Request 7 (SR7) of the last General Rate Case.  Funds for landscape water audits and budgets were not budgeted in the District’s budget (Line Item 4-2-1), because when the District’s fiscal year 2007-2008 budget was developed, staff was unaware that the CPUC had approved SR7 funding in the amount up to $300,000 per calendar year to the District.  Since the details were unknown until recently District staff did not plan to use the full $300,000 available during calendar 2007.  The “use or lose” SR7 funds are specific to water conservation projects, making this landscape audit project appropriate for funding.  Funding of this project will not aversely impact other budgeted District conservation programs, and CAW and the District are working together to complete the projects approved in the District’s fiscal year 2007-2008 budget.  Staff will submit changes related to this project in the Water Conservation Program budget at the mid-year budget adjustment.


BACKGROUND:  District Staff and CAW representatives have prioritized the list of properties that are currently required to have landscape water audits and budgets according to consumption and water savings potential.  Based on these results, 163 sites were identified as “high priority” sites.  The high priority sites include 65 residential properties which average over 32 units per month (one unit is approximately 748 gallons), 14 properties that are over three acres in size and use an average of over 32 units per month, and 84 properties with dedicated irrigation meters that use an average of over 20 units per month.  With the possibility of implementing Stage 2, 3 or above Water Conservation as early as January 2008, if dry weather conditions occur this winter,  District and CAW staff concur that there is a serious and urgent need for these “high priority” landscape water audits and budgets to be undertaken immediately.


PWM and SWM have met with District and CAW Staff to review the required landscape water audit and budget procedures of Rule 172. During the meeting all parties agreed that audits should begin as soon as possible, as rainy weather negatively affects the landscape irrigation audits.  The work proposals with cost estimates given to the District by PWM and SWM are attached as Exhibit 5-A and Exhibit 5-B, respectively. After reviewing these estimates and checking with industry sources, staff has determined that the costs proposed by both PWM and SWM are reasonable and in keeping with industry standards.



5-A      Pacific Water Management and Spot Water Management Proposals

5-B      Spot Water Management Proposal