LA water audit reveals cost-ineffectiveness of turf rebates, but high potential water and financial savings for urinal and toilet rebate spending.
Auditors estimated that rebates for water-efficiency devices, including waterfree urinals, are saving the most water, 1.3 billion gallons of water saved, and have the highest return on investment.
LOS ANGELES, CA- A recent water conservation audit conducted by the City of Los Angeles suggests an urgent need for the city government to rethink its current conservation measures and rebate spending. According to the audit, the city’s turf rebate program has failed to achieve the same degree of cost-effectiveness and returns as other contending residential and commercial rebates despite heavy investment and the latest surge in demand for turf replacement.
In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) spent roughly $12.6 million to fund its SoCal WaterSmart Rebate (SCWR) program. Among the various available rebates, waterless urinal rebates exhibited one of the highest returns in the commercial sector, at 2,665 gallons saved per dollar spent. Returns for turf rebates, on the other hand, have been lackluster, showcasing an average savings of only 287 gallons for each dollar spent.
Altogether, the SCWR program saved the city more than 946 million gallons of water between 2013-2014, with rebates for water-efficient devices constituting roughly 92% of that savings and those for the turf removal program comprising the remaining 8%. The LADWP reported that a total of 114,251 water-saving devices were installed as part of the program, with high-efficiency toilets constituting the largest category of disbursed water devices.
Such promising water savings potential from waterless urinals and high-efficiency toilets indicate that the $18 million the city spent on turf rebates in 2014-2015 could have been better allocated to funding and expanding more proven, cost-effective rebate programs. With the city’s announcement that it will be increasing its upcoming spending budget for water conservation programs to $59 million, now is the time to start pushing the city to take greater initiatives for cutting wasteful rebate spending. The city must better prioritize its various water savings efforts if it wish to maintain a successful water conservation plan in the long-term.
About Falcon Waterfree Technologies
Founded in 2000, Los Angeles-based Falcon Waterfree Technologies is the sustainability and technology leader in the development of water conservation solutions for the commercial restroom.