San Jose Shows Off Water Recycling Program at West Coast Green 2008

San Jose is working hard on its Green Vision, part of which is recycling 100% of its used water by 2022. Well underway is expansion of the South Bay Water Recycling, a program that ensures water is cleaned and reused for industrial purposes to help take the load off the water table so drinking water is always available.

One way to prevent water shortages is to reduce use, and the city is providing some serious monetary incentives for businesses willing to cut back on water consumption. A booth at West Coast Green 2008, a conference centered around innovation in the green building industry, along with a sign blasting a $50,000 rebate for water-conserving retrofits is sure to turn a head or two towards their conservation program. Businesses Get $50,000 For Cutting Back on Water
To be more effective at conserving water, the South Bay Water Recycling program is working with businesses to reduce their water use.

Targeting larger businesses, though businesses of all sizes can take part, the program offers rebates of up to $50,000 for businesses that retrofit their operations with water-conserving and recycling elements, with the rebate amount based on how many gallons are saved through their actions. Much of it is retrofitting bathrooms with water saving toilets and sinks, but also air conditioning systems and ways to reuse water during manufacturing processes.

A nice fat check, a reduced water bill, and some green clout are all big incentives for businesses to cut back, and the program already has around 50 businesses signed on and cutting back on water consumption.

Water, Water Everywhere - Where Does It Go?
Currently, the water recycled by the South Bay Water Recycling is used in over 360 locations in California. Much of it goes back into irrigation for landscaping and golf courses, air conditioning for businesses, and a variety of other industrial uses, all of which help two needs.


Golf course in Southern San Jose

Firstly, it helps keep needed drinking water in the water table, ensuring people have something to drink during drought times. And secondly, it helps the local ecosystem since not so much fresh water is discharged into the bay and marshes after cleansing. Too much fresh water in times of drought (like right now in California) changes the salt content of the marshes and bay.

Just In Time - San Jose's Water Recycling Goals
By 2020, serious water shortages in the South Bay are expected unless things change. The goal for water included in San Jose's Green Vision sets a target for 100% water recycling and reuse by 2022.

Though the date set looks a little late according to when shortages are expected, there is already rapid progress being made. As more businesses sign on to cut water use, as pipelines are expanded so that more water can be carried to the places in the county that need it, and as more people are educated about the necessity to conserve, the goal seems none too lofty.

More on Water Recycling:
Grey Water Guerrillas
How to Conserve Water
Recycle Your Shower with Gray Water Recycling System
Eighty Percent Of Cities Studied In Developing Nations Use Untreated Wastewater For Irrigation: And FDA Is Surprised About Salmonella Contaminated Peppers
More on West Coast Green:
Al Gore Speaks at West Coast Green 2008
Sneak Peek Photos of the West Coast Green 2008 Showhouse
West Coast Green 2008 Goes Solar Powered with SolaRover

Tags: California | Recycled Consumer Goods | Water Conservation