A Cross-Functional Group
The California Green Team consists of a crossfunctional
group of members drawn from
each service area in our company representing
Operations, Conservation, Water Quality and
Environmental Compliance, Communications
and Senior Leadership Team. As a result of its
work, we have been successful in decreasing
waste streams and water and energy use in
each of our service districts.
To reduce our waste streams, we established
in-house battery and small electronic
recycling stations, set printers to doublesided
printing defaults and eliminated or
reduced disposable cups, plates, and cutlery
in staff break rooms in each water district.
Based on shared best practices, each district
has established or improved its recycling
program for paper, cans, bottles, plastics,
metals and cardboard. Since the creation of
the California Green Team, we have tracked
recycling metrics with quarterly reports and
continue to substantially improve each year.
In 2012, California American Water recycled
5,804 pounds of cardboard, 40,640 pounds
of paper and 124,394 pounds of metal.
The Green Team also initiated water use
audits at all our facilities to ensure we are
following our own suggested best practices.
We have installed low-flow aerators, motion
sensor faucets, water efficient irrigation systems,
six waterless urinals and over a dozen
low-flow toilets in our facilities throughout
the state. Each waterless urinal is estimated
to save 20,000 to 45,000 gallons of water per
year, and each ultra-low flow toilet reduces
consumption by 20 percent. We have also
conducted energy use audits in each office,
which has resulted in improvements to
lighting and the installation of motion sensors
for lighting wherever possible.
California American Water’s greatest environmental
achievement may be the San
Clemente Dam removal project on the
Carmel River. The $83 million project will
restore approximately 25 miles of river to
its natural flow and improve habitat for
the steelhead trout and red-legged frog,
among other species. The dam removal
project is expected to break ground later
this year and be completed in 2015. It is
the largest dam removal project undertaken
in California to date.
Our largest environmental impacts have
occurred in the field where we extract, treat
and deliver water to our customers. The
Green Team supports our Engineering
Department’s initiatives on two proposed
renewable energy projects and the use of
variable frequency drive motors on wells and
boosters to increase energy efficiency and
reduce the amount of water pumped to waste.
With state “20 by 2020” (California SBx 7-7)
goals looming, water efficiency is a priority.
California American Water is on target to
meet its goals throughout the state, in large
part due to extensive conservation program
and services we offer our customers,
including free water-wise house calls, irrigation
surveys and rebates for toilets,
washing machines turf removal and other
landscape items. We also offer free conservation
kits and devices to customers.
Walking the Walk, continued from page 23
Continued on page 32