The City of Chula Vista, Calif., has approved a water stewardship plan developed by Haley & Aldrich, an environmental and engineering consulting firm, in collaboration with city officials and key stakeholders to address water scarcity issues caused by severe drought and other climate change issues. The City of Chula Vista Water Stewardship Plan engages residents, businesses and city government to manage increased water demand and protect its water resources through reuse, conservation and other key initiatives.
“As a forerunner in climate protection and sustainability issues, the City of Chula Vista has been proactive in addressing its pressing regional water needs,” said Amy Malick, Sustainability Strategist for Haley & Aldrich. “Water stewardship has become an urgent issue due to the ongoing California drought, particularly since about 85 percent of the water in the San Diego region is imported from the Colorado River and Sierra Nevada mountains.”
As part of the water stewardship initiative, Haley & Aldrich engaged broad community participation, bringing together key stakeholders who face water challenges day-in, day-out, to provide insight and ideas. Together, with city officials, they were not only able to establish a unified vision for water stewardship, but also to create a highly actionable plan to be implemented by all stakeholders.
“This has been an extremely productive process for us,” said Lynn France, Manager, Office of Sustainability, Economic Development Department, City of Chula Vista. “With Haley & Aldrich’s help, for the first time, we have been able to bring together our city staff, residents, businesses and others to develop innovative solutions to address our water needs. While we initially focused on reuse, through the process we recognized that we also needed to include conservation as a critical and cost-effective component of the plan. Now, we not only have a plan in place that will enable us to effectively address our water issues, but also to involve our stakeholders as active stewards of the process.”
The plan assesses near and long-term opportunities and applicable implementation strategies to increase water efficiency, conservation and reuse of graywater, stormwater and wastewater for community and municipal use. Some target areas of the plan include ways to: measure water usage, expand water capture and reuse, encourage water efficient landscape decisions, and promote green infrastructure and low-impact development. In addition to city staff, key stakeholders, and the Chula Vista community, the plan was developed in partnership with the San Diego Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.