Water and Energy Savings Estimates for CII Landscapes Upgrade Projects

July 13, 2023

In 2022 AWE collaborated with Regional Water Authority (RWA) to prepare a report titled "Water and Energy Savings Estimates for CII Landscapes Upgrade Projects".  RWA is a joint powers authority representing water providers and affiliates in the Sacramento region of California. This report evaluates 10 project sites from RWA's Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Landscape Upgrades Program that received incentives to upgrade their landscape plant material, irrigation systems and equipment, or both. This project was funded by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Procter & Gamble. RWA also partnered with WaterWise Consulting, Inc on the pre- and post-installation inspections and with California Water Efficiency Partnership on providing customers with site maintenance training. 

Using a water budget approach to estimate water savings post-installation from these CII landscape projects, significant water savings are expected across these sites with some noteworthy variations from site-to-site. The estimated water savings were calculated using an AWE customized version of the EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool, which is often used to help builders, landscape professionals, and irrigation professionals to meet the requirements of the WaterSense labeled homes program. These upgrades are also expected to result in meaningful energy savings and avoided greenhouse gas reductions, which were calculated using AWE's Water Conservation Tracking Tool

The upgrades to these CII landscapes were completed in 2022, and in the future RWA plans to revisit the project sites by evaluating their actual water savings over time and comparing the actual savings with the estimates. 

Here are some of the key takeaways on the upgrades and associated water savings estimates: