News: MCAS Miramar continues water conservation efforts through drought declaration
Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar continues its water conservation efforts through the drought declaration made by Governor Jerry Brown Jan. 17.
MCAS Miramar’s conservation efforts aid in preventing any water shortage from occurring during the drought declaration, which is primarily aimed toward Northern and Central California.
“We’re always pushing for water conservation through different programs and incentives here,” said Megan Blucher, MCAS Miramar engineering branch manager. “One example is our smart irrigation system, which announces when there is a break in water flow in our sprinkler system, and effectively shuts an area off if a pipe or valve is broken.”
The installation purchases its water supply from the San Diego community, making the conservation efforts from both sides help significantly for both San Diego and Miramar. Any water Miramar saves helps the San Diego region.
"At this time, we do not anticipate any additional water-use restrictions for San Diego in 2014," said Halla Razak, director of the city's public utilities department. "Thanks to strong regional conservation efforts and the investment that agencies have made in diversifying the region's water supply portfolio, we are in better shape than many parts of California."
One of the largest impacting initiatives for Miramar involves using reclaimed water. A reclaimed water system is in place to provide water for plumbing and irrigation. Reclaimed water systems collect water and clean it to standards that are safe to use in irrigation and plumbing.
“Anywhere you see a purple sign means we are using reclaimed water for irrigation in that area,” said Mick Wasco, MCAS Miramar’s energy program manager. “Reclaimed water is extremely beneficial because every gallon we use is a gallon of potable water saved. In one year we use about 1.2 billion gallons of reclaimed water, which means we would have had to use that much potable water if we didn't have the capability of using reclaimed water.”
Reclaimed water assists Miramar’s irrigation system heavily. The irrigation system also uses Calsense, a monitoring system that measures daily precipitation levels, controlling when it is appropriate to water the plants on base. For example, if it rains, the system will not water the plants on the installation. Calsense controls almost every watering system on the station.
Those that live on the installation tend to use the most water, and this is also being handled.
“The tenants who live here use water through their sinks, showers and toilets,” said Wasco. “For that, we have applied low-flow fixtures to those systems in approximately 25 buildings so far, and that has reduced water usage in those areas significantly.”
Tenants can also help save water by doing things such as turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth, shaving or washing dishes.
For more information about the drought declaration and water conservation, you can visit http://www.sdcwa.org/ to learn more.