Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) “Drop 100” campaign, which, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, aims to save 100 million gallons of water each year by increasing water efficiency in commercial buildings across L.A.The Drop 100 campaign encourages innovative water-saving solutions in commercial buildings, which account for 19% of water use within the City.
“In the midst of our state’s historic drought, Los Angeles is rising to the challenge — we are reducing our water use, and residents and businesses across the city are working every day to find new ways to cut back,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I’m proud to partner with the L.A. Better Buildings Challenge, and our city’s business community, to help our commercial buildings get even smarter about water conservation.”
Drop 100 promotes high-impact water saving technologies, some of which are unique to commercial buildings. For example, cooling towers use water evaporation to cool large buildings, and often account for the majority of a building’s water use. Cooling tower upgrades improve water treatment and filtration to allow the re-circulation of cooling water multiple times, and reduce water use 20-40%. In a large building, this translates into millions of gallons per year.
Many commercial buildings in Los Angeles experience groundwater seepage into basements and underground garages, which up to now has required treatment, pumping and discharge to the sewer or storm drain. With recent technological advances, facilities can instead offset potable water use by directing that water into cooling towers or landscaping.
Under DWP’s Technical Assistance Program, commercial and industrial building owners can receive up to $250,000 for the installation of pre-approved equipment and products — such as cooling tower upgrades and re-circulation systems. Landscape rebates for turf removal are also available for commercial facilities at $1.75 per square foot up to 1,500 square feet. DWP also offers rebates related to the most water efficient urinals, toilets and faucets.
“We are proud to partner with the Mayor on this important initiative,” said David Hodgins, Executive Director of the L.A. Better Buildings Challenge. “Water conservation has not gotten enough attention, and it will take the commitment, leadership, and creativity of the commercial real estate sector to find a sustainable long-term solution.”
Drop 100 is the latest step in L.A.’s Better Buildings Challenge, a national leadership initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. As part of the challenge, the City of Los Angeles has set a goal to achieve 20 percent energy and water savings by 2020 across 30 million square feet of existing buildings.
Children’s Hospital, the Los Angeles Times building, CBRE's Century Plaza Towers, Jones Lang LaSalle’s One California Plaza, Kilroy Realty, UCLA, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, and the Los Angeles Convention Center have already committed to the Drop 100 Challenge.
For example, the Century Plaza Towers is developing a project to capture groundwater for irrigation, with an estimated savings of 2.9 million gallons of water per year. The L.A. Convention Center aims to reduce water use by 25% through upgrading plumbing fixtures, irrigation and cooling towers.
LABBC has partnered with the Mayor’s Save the Drop Campaign to provide more information and case studies for interested participants at http://savethedropla.com/drop100. Building owners interested in participating can also contact the LABBC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s announcement follows Mayor Garcetti’s marking of the one-year anniversary of his Executive Directive #5, which has helped the city achieve a 16% reduction in water use city-wide and a 22% reduction of water use in city departments.
The Mayor has also announced the new phase of Save the Drop — “Capture the Drop,” a campaign to encourage Angelenos to collect, for outdoor use, the billions of gallons of rainwater that flow into the ocean each year. For more information on how to Capture and Save the Drop, visit savethedropla.com.