BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified has cut water use nearly in half since initiating the first stage of a water conservation plan, and officials are pursuing new efforts that could drop usage levels even lower.
“We must play an important role as a partner with our community in reducing the demand for water as California continues to experience one of its most severe droughts,” Interim Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “This reduction is a positive first step in a program we hope will lead to even greater benefits.”
Baldwin Park Unified achieved the water savings by upgrading its systems for irrigation of fields and grounds – the District’s primary use of water.
The District’s Maintenance and Operations Department centralized irrigation operations with a computerized control system, reducing water days and times. In some areas, watering was terminated altogether during the summer months.
The immediate impact: Water use plunged by 47.1 percent in summer 2015 over the same period in 2014.
To pursue new ways to cut water use, Baldwin Park Unified leaders have contacted the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (USGVMWD) to participate in its Large Landscape and Retrofit program. USGVMWD works with federal, state and private agencies that could provide grant opportunities for the District to pursue additional conservation efforts.
The District also is exploring other conservation ideas.
For irrigation, ideas include installing moisture-sensing sprinkler heads and a rain station at the District Office to ensure water is shut off when not needed. Other efforts include installing waterless and low-flow toilets, automatic shut-off sink faucets and more efficient water-using appliances in school kitchens, as well as more drought-tolerant plants in landscaping.
In line with these efforts, the District will research various student engagement programs to heighten student understanding of the drought and to teach students how to incorporate conservation measures into their lives.
The District website – www.bpusd.net –will be used as a major source of information for water conservation efforts for students, parents, staff and the Baldwin Park community.