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Be Smart and Green, Save 15

Aug 4, 2016

Port Washington Water District Launches Progressive Water Conservation Campaign

Aims to Reduce Water Consumption by 15 Percent this Irrigation Season with Help From Residents

Port Washington, NY (July 21, 2016) – Today, the Port Washington Water District (PWWD) is setting the benchmark for water conservation with the announcement of its progressive “Be Smart and Green, Save 15” campaign. Joined by New York State Senator Jack Martins, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Village of Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips, Village of Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson, Village of Manorhaven Trustee John Popeleski and Village of Port Washington North representative Anna Fox, the District laid out plans to reduce Districtwide water consumption by 15 percent this irrigation season. The campaign reflects estimates by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that pumpage amounts are surpassing Nassau County’s permissible yields by 15 percent.

“The ‘Be Smart and Green, Save 15’ water conservation campaign could not have come at a more appropriate time,” said David Brackett, Chairman of PWWD’s Board of Commissioners. “As we head into the peak part of the summer in terms of water consumption per resident, we implore the community to come together, join this ever-important effort and implement some simple-yet-effective conservation tactics to conserve our most precious natural resource.”

“The DEC is proud to be working with the Port Washington Water District on the development of its water conservation initiative. On Long Island, there is a large increase in summer water-use demand, which is primarily attributed to landscape irrigation. On average, 50 percent of irrigation water is wasted due to evaporation. Port Washington Water District’s program will seek to reduce irrigation demand by at least 15 percent. We hope that initiatives such as this bring a spotlight on the need for summertime water conservation and help show the ways that we can each participate in this important effort,” said Region One DEC Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher.

On Friday, July 15, 2016, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the first drought watch since July 2002 for all of New York State due to below-normal precipitation levels. As the need to conserve water during the warm-weather months increases, the PWWD’s “Be Smart and Green, Save 15” water conservation campaign will educate and provide residents with the knowledge to effortlessly reduce their water consumption. With just a few simple steps, like obeying Nassau County’s water irrigation ordinances and adjusting sprinkler timers, residents can significantly reduce their water consumption without sacrificing the health of their lawn and gardens.

“If we continue pumping at current levels, we will be jeopardizing the future sustainability of the peninsula’s water supply by introducing the irreversible effects of saltwater intrusion,” said PWWD Commissioner Mindy Germain. “The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is undertaking a study that will give us an exact picture of our pumpage yields and allow us to fully understand what level of pumping will keep our supply sustainable. Until this study is complete, we ask that all residents strictly adhere to Nassau County’s ordinance of the odd-even watering schedule as this will have a positive impact and contribute to our conservation goals in a very significant way.”

“When it comes to conserving water, minor effort makes a major difference,” said Senator Jack Martins. By following a few simple steps, residents can significantly reduce consumption and protect one of our most important natural resources. The Port Washington community has historically been a leader in efforts to protect our water; I am confident it will be again by coming together and supporting the Port Washington Water District’s ‘Be Smart and Green, Save 15’ effort.”

“Water is a resource that doesn’t care about lines on maps, borders or jurisdictions,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “It is so critical that we work together at all levels of government to assure that we have sufficient water for the future. It starts with educating our residents about ways to conserve water and to become more aware of the wasteful water-usage habits we all have. This initiative by the Port Washington Water District is a great first step, and I am hopeful that residents will embrace the ‘Save 15’ mentality.”

“Water is our most precious resource. On Long Island we live on our sole-source aquifer, so we must be mindful of conservation and environmental impacts,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “The Port Washington Water District is asking us to join its proactive mission of setting a goal of 15 percent reduced pumping during the irrigation season—our hottest months of the year.”

Aside from educating residents, the District is taking steps to contribute to its “Be Smart and Green, Save 15” water conservation campaign. The District has implemented a leak-detection program that has already identified 10 locations where water is being wasted. By fixing these 10 leaks alone, the District anticipates achieving a water savings of more than 93,000 gallons per day. In addition, the District will be providing its top-water users with consultations to improve their water efficiency, reviewing existing irrigation systems to reduce water waste and piloting EPA WaterSense smart irrigation controller technology.

“The District is doing everything it can with the resources at its disposal to identify and target locations throughout the District where water is unnecessarily being wasted,” said PWWD Commissioner Peter Meyer. “The use of state-of-the-art technology enables us to save large sums of water without having to negatively impact the actual needs of our customers. The District’s smart irrigation controller pilot program at our headquarters, for example, has kept our lawn and plants green while saving more than 22,000 gallons of water since we started the pilot just two months ago.”

“Water is an essential natural resource that must be protected and conserved,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The EPA applauds the Port Washington Water District for taking steps to do just that. Efficient use of water on landscapes also means less run-off pollution into the Long Island Sound and its bays. The work of local governments to encourage the use of WaterSense labeled products encourages all of us to take steps to protect and conserve water on Long Island.”

To learn more about the PWWD’s “Be Smart and Green, Save 15” water conservation campaign, please visit www.pwwd.org or www.facebook.com/pwwaterdistrict.