Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. – National Community Renaissance (National CORE), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit community builders, has launched an aggressive program to significantly reduce water usage at its California properties amid the state’s historic drought.
Working with WegoWise, a Boston-based building-efficiency firm, National CORE has reduced water usage 19 percent at six California properties, including a 52 percent reduction at one of its communities. The program compares usage at National CORE properties with other building of similar nature, and in the case of one community, was able to flag a water line break that has since been repaired.
In addition to the six-property pilot program, National CORE has taken steps to sharply reduce water usage across California, including the rollout of high-efficiency fixtures and replacing turf with drought-friendly landscaping. National CORE has also started a water-conservation-awareness campaign, which can be viewed on its Facebook page or at #DOINGOURPART. The drought – one of the worst in recorded history – has prompted California Gov. Jerry Brown to call for a 25 percent reduction in water usage.
“It is up to all of us to better understand how we’re using water, and to take the necessary steps to preserve this essential natural resource,” said Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rancho Cucamonga-based National CORE. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do so far, but realize it is only the beginning.”
Cliff Sherwood, who directs capital improvements at National CORE, said multifamily properties are at a disadvantage when it comes to water savings, since most of the usage is by residents, many of whom are not individually metered.
“We are very concerned about water conservation,” Sherwood said. “Across our large portfolio, we want to take advantage of every opportunity to reduce water us and costs. Behind it all, the current California state water conservation mandate makes our efforts even more meaningful to the communities we serve.”
Using information collected by WegoWise, National CORE was able to triage a long list of potential retrofit projects, and identify those with the highest priority. That data is shared with on-site staff so that they’re familiar with every drop of water used.
“We’re working proactively to meet the state water reduction goals, and to do that, we need to ensure that building-level personnel can identify under-performing buildings, water leads and any source of waste,” Sherwood said.
More than 75 retrofit projects are in progress, and more than 1,350 building units are being monitored.
For more information on National CORE’s water conservation efforts, please visit www.facebook.com/nationalcore.
About National CORE, Hope through Housing
National Community Renaissance, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. Over the past two decades, its Hope through Housing subsidiary has provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life, including preschool, afterschool, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
Steve Lambert, The 20/20 Network
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