Save Water, Energy, Money and the Environment

Volume 8, Number 11

November 2012

Calling Volunteers!
Hurricane Sandy
10 Things You Should Know About Wastewater Treatment
Gray is the New Green
American Attitudes Toward Water Reuse
Find Your Drinking Water Source
L.A. Metro
Sanitation Districts
West Basin
City of Torrance
Staff Spotlight
Political / Legislation Corner
November / December 2012 Events & Workshops
A Worthy Read
Interesting Domestic and International Articles Discussing the Environment, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation



There has never been a better time to help out and be recognized.

Email Martha, call her at 310.371.7222, x 209 or complete our volunteer application and submit it by email or mail.   
You can make a huge difference! 

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Platinum Tier
20% Energy Reduction Stay Tuned


Gold Tier
10% Energy Reduction 
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Silver Tier
5% Energy Reduction 
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City of El Segundo
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City of Inglewood
City of Manhattan Beach
City of Redondo Beach
City of Torrance 
Valued Level
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Did You Know?

"The United States, uses 410 billion gallons of water every day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Think of all the energy expended in pumping that water, treating it, spraying it on crops, heating it for your shower, making it into ice, Coca-Cola, paper, and on and on. These core uses (what they refer to as direct water and steam services in the commercial, residential, industrial and power sectors) eat up 12.3 quadrillion BTU per year. That's 12.6% of primary energy use in the United States, or the equivalent energy consumption of 40 million Americans."
- Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff

Message From the Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Programs


The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is certainly on our minds but what does that catastrophe mean to us in Southern California?  The heartfelt message shared with us from some of those who experienced the damage from the hurricane as well as the following Nor'easter storm, is that in spite of everything, they are grateful because their loved ones are safe.


Knowing that, how can we use this gift-giving time of year to help make our loved ones safe in case an unexpected natural disaster strikes?  The idea of an emergency kit can seem overwhelming, but simple and useful items can truly make a difference.  Even for those who are difficult to buy for because they seem to have everything, are they really prepared?  Not from what we have seen on the news broadcasts depicting wealthy coastal neighborhoods turned to indistinguishable rubble within hours.  


Here are a few gift ideas - a very partial list - and I challenge you to add to it as you consider the needs of your loved ones in living through a natural disaster:  

  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio
  • NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Battery operated lantern
  • Flashlights of various sizes
  • Extra batteries
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each member of the family
  • First aid kit 
  • Manual can opener
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Waterproof, portable container to hold important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records

The articles that follow address the many facets of water, including an attempt at preparing us for a potential rainy season.  Let us all be grateful, be mindful and take meaningful measures to protect all that we hold dear during this joyous season of Thanksgiving.               


Catherine Showalter


Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy 
Sandy Shows More Cities Need To Boost Preparedness
In the wake of superstorm Sandy, the lessons learned from flooding in New York City suggests a broader look at the readiness of U.S. coastal cities ahead of the next big storm. Lynn Neary talks about infrastructure and storm preparedness with Adam Freed, former deputy director of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

West Coast at Risk for Hybrid Storms, Too
The California coast probably will never see a storm as violent as the one that pounded the East Coast, but the future for Westerners will be rife with environmental problems caused by global warming, including torrential rain, flooding, fire and drought, climate experts say.
Read More
10 Things You Should Know About Wastewater Treatment 
Wastewater is Cool

Yes, wastewater and cool can be in the same sentence.  Okay maybe not.  But wastewater is interesting at the very least.  Here are ten interesting things you should know about wastewater.  Here we go... See List


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Gray is the New Green 
The Wonders of Water Reuse, in Your Home! 

Reduce, reuse and recycle. Did you know this common phrase referring to "green" or environmentally friendly practices applies to water?


Every day, water goes down the drain when taking a shower, washing dishes, or simply washing hands. This "gray water" generated from these domestic activities can be recycled for other uses. Gray water is different from tap water that is safe for drinking (white water), and the water from flushing a toilet (black water). Though not suitable for drinking, Gray water contains considerably lower level of contaminants than black water, making it easier to treat and recycle.

Read More


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American Attitudes Toward Water Reuse:
2012 Consumer Survey Results
The Results May Surprise You 
Amidst growing water scarcity, and concern about the future availability and quality of water, a new GE consumer survey unveiled in October indicates that Americans strongly support reusing water to help the U.S. drive economic competitiveness and protect the environment.


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Find Your Drinking Water Source
From Source to Tap, Track the Path that Your Drinking Water Travels to Reach You
Ever wonder where your tap water comes from? Most Americans, a whopping 77 percent of them, do not know the source of the water they consume on a daily basis. Click here to change that and find out!

Click here to view a cool infographic that depicts 10 reasons to choose tap water over bottled water!


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California Public Utilities Commission

CPUC Approves Energy Efficiency Plans and Leverages Local Governments to Ensure Consumer Benefits 
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), building on California's proud history in energy efficiency, today approved a portfolio of energy efficiency programs and budgets for 2013-2014, further affirming that cost-effective energy efficiency is the state's least expensive and most environmental resource, as well as the first line of defense against power shortages. Approved programs will deliver approximately 4,000 gigawatthours and 750 megawatts of electricity savings over the next two years, reducing the need for at least two large power plants, while also delivering significant savings of natural gas.

Energy Upgrade Logo
Energy Upgrade California
Don't Miss the Window of Opportunity for Increased Incentives on Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Through December 31, 2012

Energy Upgrade California is an incentive program offered to SoCalGas customers with electric service provided by a local electric municipal utility. Contact your electric service provider regarding the availability of any possible additional rebates or incentives.


Now through December 31, 2012, SoCalGas has increased their incentive levels up to $4000 throughout their entire service territory including all municipalities. Take advantage of this 'limited time' special promotion by calling us at 1-888-871-0345 to get started.

Read More


Southern California Gas CompanyThe Gas Company

Three Good Reasons to Prepare for Cooler Weather: Cost Savings, Energy Savings and Safety Issues


As temperatures cool down South Bay Environmental Services Center (SBESC) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) are advising customers to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any needed maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.

Read More


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Southern California EdisonSCE  

"Like" Or Follow SCE, And They'll Donate More!


SCE is donating $1 to the American Red Cross for every new "like" on their Facebook page, and for each new follower on their main Twitter feed. Every click counts! This adds to the $1.5 million commitment made earlier this year by their parent company, Edison International.

Read More


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L.A. Metro



Get ready! Los Angeles County's first High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes have opened this past Saturday, November 10th at 12:01 am.  Metro ExpressLanes, are an innovative project to reduce traffic congestion, that opened 11 miles of carpool lanes on the 110 Harbor Freeway, between the 91 Freeway and Adams Boulevard, to solo drivers who pay an electronic toll.


To schedule a Metro Express Lanes presentation to your employees or for more information, contact Melissa.

Read More




There are many benefits to participating in a Metro vanpool:

  • Save money on gas and other commuting costs
  • Receive an ongoing subsidy of up to $400 per month
  • Reduce wear and tear on your car
  • Save time by traveling in carpool lanes
  • Reduce traffic and pollution
  • Qualify for special perks at work, such as preferred parking, prize drawings, subsidies and more
  • Lower commuting stress
  • Meet new friends

Are there any other added benefits?

As an added bonus, both employers and employees can benefit by participating in "Commuter Benefits", a program outlined in the federal tax code, that offers employers tax breaks for subsidizing vanpools for employees. In addition, employees may benefit when they set aside pre-tax dollars for vanpool commuting expenses.


If you are interested in learning more about Metro's Vanpool program and how to qualify for a $400 monthly subsidy, be sure to contact SBESC and ask for Melissa.


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Sanitation Districts of LA County

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

Clearwater Program Final EIR/EIS Released


As part of a comprehensive planning effort called the Clearwater Program, the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (Sanitation Districts) have finalized a Master Facilities Plan (MFP) for the Joint Outfall System (JOS), a regional wastewater management system serving approximately 4.8 million people in 73 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.  The MFP evaluates the infrastructure needs of the JOS through the year 2050 and makes recommendations on how to ensure the continuation of the JOS as a reliable and cost-effective wastewater management system that is protective of public health and the environment.  

Read More  

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West Basin Municipal Water DWest Basinistrict 
Be a Water Expert - Take a Water 101 Class


Next Class is December 6, 2012 at 6:30pm, Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo. Free dinner begins at 6:30pm with the Water 101 Talk to begin at 7:00pm. A night tour of the recycling facility follows the talk. Please wear closed-toe shoes if you plan to go on the tour. Call 310-660-6200 to reserve your spot. Class is limited to 20 participants.


City of Torrance
City of Torrance

Hydrogen Generator Begins Operating at Toyota's Torrance Headquarters


Toyota executives have removed the equivalent of 294 cars from the roads.


A new hydrogen-run generator at the Japanese car company's Torrance campus started operating on Wednesday, with the promise to reduce 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Read More
Staff Spotlight 
Melissa Hebert 


Our new Environmental Services Analyst for Transportation Programs is Melissa Hebert. Melissa comes to SBESC with many years of transportation experience, previously having worked within UCLA Transportation Services in their Planning & Policy department along with startup carshare company, Flexcar.  With fresh insight coordinating transportation programs, Melissa is excited to promote the value and benefits of joining a Metro Vanpool while encouraging travelers of the I-110 & I-10 freeways to incorporate Metro ExpressLanes into their daily commute.


Political / Legislation Corner 

Obama to Continue Efforts to Curb Greenhouse Gases, Push Energy Efficiency

President Obama's reelection, along with key wins by Senate Democrats, ensures that the federal government will press ahead with efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and to curb greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.


But the scope of these policies could be constrained by congressional opposition and by concern over their economic impact, making it likely that a second Obama term will deliver some, but not all, of environmentalists' top priorities.

Read More


California Proposition 39 Results in $2.5 Billion for Energy Efficiency


California Proposition 39 results: 60 percent of voters approve measure to close tax loophole and fund clean energy and energy efficiency projects in public buildings. For a tax measure, California Proposition 39 had surprisingly little organized opposition.


Top 4 Things to Know About California's First Ever Carbon Auction 
While millions of Americans recover from the Sandy-Nor'easter extreme weather event combo, and even as President Obama's remarks about action against a "warming planet" linger, all eyes will be on California this coming Wednesday. This is when the next big event in the climate change conversation will take place. 
Read More
November / December 2012 Events & Workshops 
Click Here to See a List of Upcoming Workshops & Trainings
Click Here to See a List of Upcoming Events
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