Published on September 2nd, 2015 | by Roy L Hales


Homeowners Save 1 Billion Gallons Of Water

September 2nd, 2015 by  

Originally Published on the ECOreport

California may be in the midst of the worst drought on record, but its people are not helpless. One of the means that homeowners have at their disposal are water-efficiency projects financed through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. Once its current projects are complete, the state’s largest PACE program (HERO PACE) will help homeowners save 1 billion gallons of water.


PACE Water Conservation Programs Work

“By our calculations, If only one percent of everyone in the current HERO communities participated, 2.5 billion gallons of water would be saved in one year alone. And if every resident of California participated, the water savings would be a whopping 525 billion gallons annually. That would be more than twice the volume of Lake Tahoe saved every year,” said a company spokesman.

“We’ve only just begun. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s most recent data California uses 38 billion gallons of water each day. Crossing the billion-gallon mark statewide highlights the significant potential for water conservation within homes across the State,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who pushed for adoption of Los Angeles County’s PACE program.

“The HERO Program shows how private companies can help local governments solve some of our state’s largest challenges, such as the extended drought,” said Brian Tisdale, Mayor Pro Tem of Lake Elsinore and Chair of the Western Riverside Council of Governments, which initiated the HERO Program in California in 2011.


Effective Measures

One of the most effective measures a homeowner can take is to replace his lawns with artificial turf or native landscaping. In some communities, up to 2/3 of the residential water use is watering lawns and gardens.

PACE loans can also be used to install high-efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads; gray water systems, rain catchment systems or drip irrigation systems.



Programs are financed through homeowners’ property taxes in participating communities. Companies like Renovate America, Renew Financial and Ygrene Energy Fund provide 100% of the upfront financing. The cost is added onto the homeowners tax assessment and paid back over time.

HERO is currently the largest PACE program operating in California. It has provided more than $824 million in financing for energy projects in 35,000 homes. This program is available to 77% of California’s households, in 336 communities spread over 35 counties.

Photo Credit: All photos courtesy Renovate America, which operates the HERO PACE program. 

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • thinkmorebelieveless

    how about going the next step and not use “plastic grass” ( check out what it takes to make this stuff and its recyclability, etc) and use natural colored stones or recycled rubber mulch ?

    • wattleberry

      The mulch idea sounds best so long as do you don’t mind an invasion of kids thinking they’re in the local play park .

      • thinkmorebelieveless

        Oh well, maybe they will get a practical lesson on recycling !

  • tmac1

    Excellent! Great to see what can be done when we rethink old habits! Readers of cleanTechnica may be interested in saving trillions of gallons simply by changing diet. Farm Ag for pork beef dairy uses crazy amount of water.
    Check it out: documentary by California guys

    • Indeed, being vegan is one of the greenest things we can do for our climate.

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  • Jason hm

    Holy heck a billion gallons WOW that’s like 3000 acre feet of water. That’s enough water to irrigate about 1000 average acres of California farmland enough to feed a few thousand people for a whole year!!!

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