San Diego County and Camp Pendleton water officials gathered to discuss conservation efforts at the South Mesa Staff Noncommissioned Officers’ Club, Aug. 5.
The summit educated base officials at every level of water involvement and addressed ways to integrate water conservation into project design and operation.
“This is a priority for Marine Corps Installations West and Camp Pendleton,” said Jeremy N. Jungreis, director, Office of Water Resources, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “We need to not only be prudent in our own water decisions, but help the communities around us resolve regional water challenges.”
On July 1, Camp Pendleton voluntarily implemented several of San Diego County Water Authority’s water conservation restrictions with Basegram 24-09 to support regional conservation efforts.
“We all need to be in this together if we plan to make a difference,” said Teresa D. Penunuri, community relations representative, San Diego County Water Authority during the workshop. “We have to change the way we use and think about water.”
Federal legislation passed in 2007 requires all military installations to reduce water usage 16 percent by 2016, according to Executive Summary 13423. Camp Pendleton has already made an estimated eight percent water reduction with future plans to expand on the base’s preexisting independent water resource.
“Camp Pendleton and the SDCWA are moving in the same direction,” said Jungreis. “If we can become more water efficient, we may be able to help the communities around us meet their water needs because that is where our Marines and sailors live.”
Servicemembers and base employees living in communities surrounding Camp Pendleton can also expect to feel the effects of regional water shortage. Water rates are anticipated to increase significantly in the coming years from the current one third cent per gallon rate.
Servicemembers and base employees living in communities surrounding Camp Pendleton can also expect to feel the effects of regional water shortage. Water rates are anticipated to increase significantly in the coming years.
“Unfortunately, this higher demand for water has an impact on rates,” said Penunuri. “We are looking at about 18 percent rate increase next month and another one in the double digits over the next several years.”
Current county restrictions now prohibit restaurants from providing water without asking and require lodging facilities to provide daily linen washing options. These among others will remain in effect until June 30, 2010.
“The era of the big green lawn in San Diego is gone,” said Penunuri. “This may be a short term drought, but we have a long term challenge.”