CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marine Corps Installations-West is continuing to implement policies, procedures and projects to meet water use reduction mandates and to conserve water as California experiences a sustained period of drought.
MCI-West is comprised of five major installations on the West Coast, such as Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, Commanding General, MCI-West, is implementing new practices aboard the bases to achieve water efficiency goals as outlined in a policy letter released May 28.
These practices include washing non-tactical vehicles being limited to one car wash every two weeks, unless frequent washing is necessary to accomplish mission essential requirements or alleviate immediate safety and sanitation hazards.
The bases are also securing unit car washes until further notice and requiring all hoses to be equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle that prevents water from running when the hose is not in use. Furthermore, landscape irrigation plans are being developed and enhanced by water resource specialists.
Water leaks, whether indoors or outdoors, are required to be repaired within 48 hours of being reported to the Base Facilities Maintenance Department.
Finally, bases are prohibiting the washing down of paved surfaces, including sidewalks, driveways, patios and parking lots unless necessary to alleviate safety or sanitation hazards.
“These best practices match the state requirements and are all important rules to follow,” said Marcus Engstrom, project manager for water resources here. “If we can conserve water throughout the drought we won’t deplete our aquifers so low that sand and sediment will run up.”
As California experiences a sustained period of drought, the command aims to reduce the consumption of potable water by two percent annually through fiscal year 2025 compared to the base’s water consumption in fiscal year 2007.
“It’s important to conserve water because we use it for drinking, irrigation, sanitation and cooking. It is a precious resource,” said Engstrom. “We’re entering the fourth year of a major drought and our water reserves, such as those from aquifers, are running very low.”
As of 2012, MCI-West has reduced water use by 20 percent from the baseline year.
MCI-West is expected to exceed the reduction objectives several years before fiscal year 2025.
“MCI-West is doing well in continuously pursuing the goals and we are well-ahead of the pace that Headquarters have set for us,” said Engstrom. “We have reorganized our organization to provide more resources and money towards water conservation.”