Creating a statewide Distributed Water Resources program will not be simple but the potential for substantial water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions benefits is very high. Existing and future State programs can be leveraged now to begin the transition.
- Establish a new multi-benefit metric that values all resource, environmental and economic benefits on a holistic statewide basis and enables optimizing public funds in a manner that rewards multiple cross-cutting benefits. Read more here.
- Award preference points for water and wastewater infrastructure grants to public agencies that commit to help their customers purchase and install distributed water resource systems.
Implement a pilot program that combines funds from electric, gas, water, wastewater, and green-house gas emissions reduction programs to help water customers implement drought resilient measures that achieve multiple cross-cutting benefits.
Help water and wastewater utilities mitigate costs and risks of assets that may become stranded when encouraging customers to develop distributed water resources and systems.
- Create a Water Investment Loan Fund that streamlines access to low interest loans for water users that are willing to make investments in distributed water resource projects (similar to programs that offer financing for customer energy efficiency projects).
Fund accelerated retirements of water fixtures that are not yet compliant with the 2015 Title 20 Appliance Efficiency Regulations and its successor(s). Consider all water, energy, and greenhouse gas benefits when determining which funds can be used to achieve early retirements of non-compliant water fixtures. Modify State policies, programs, and funding to enable investing in early retirements as “procurements” of resource and environmental benefits (differentiated from “utility incentives” that protect ratepayers from over-investing in measures that are expected to occur at a future date without intervention). Concurrently, continue to increase water and energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions through continuous upgrades to codes and standards.
Incremental Statewide Benefits by Accelerating Title 20 Changeouts
There is little reliable and current data about the amount of water needed by commercial and industrial customers by type of end use.
Every State grant, subsidy or incentive provided to a water user is an opportunity to collect information. Water and wastewater utilities that receive State funds should provide information about water use within their service areas by industry sector and customer or business segment. More granular and current water use data will streamline both the cost and time to match candidate technology solutions to targeted adopters. It will also improve estimates of potential water and energy savings, and energy related greenhouse gas reductions, providing a rational basis for determining the appropriate level of State investment in projects and technologies.
California drives technology advancement through visionary policy goals that are supported with billions of dollars in public investments. This rare combination of policy commitment and investment distinguishes California from many entities, both public and private, that may have ambitious goals but lack either the resources or the commitment needed to build markets and industries. California is ideally positioned to serve as a global center for collaborative research, development, and commercialization of products and technologies needed to achieve the State's vision for a clean, healthy, affordable, and resilient future.