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Depot takes action in water conservation

US Marine Corps News

7/11/2008 By Cpl. Carrie C. Ruiz, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO — Last year was a historically dry year throughout the western United States. Because San Diego imports more than 85 percent of its water it is very important to conserve every precious drop.

On January 1, farmers faced a mandatory reduction in water use to 70 percent of the amount used during the previous year to prevent another drought on the Colorado River. San Diego has also curtailed nonessential water deliveries and is now making a public call for voluntary conservation.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego has answered that call, and is now taking preventative measures to lessen the amount of water that is used on the depot.

The executive order for strengthening federal environmental, energy, and transportation management requires the water reduction of 2 percent per year through 2015.

“Facilities Maintenance is committed to achieving the mandated water reduction goals by implementing the best water management practices in all new construction, renovations and contracting,” said Richard Hatcher, engineering technician, facilities maintenance.

Hatcher said that the depot is now requiring the installation of ultra-low flow shower heads, low flow toilets and urinals and metered faucets on all projects.

Last fiscal year, the base used 275,731 gallons of water. To reduce the amount used, the base installed 10,000 sq. feet of synthetic turf in front of Building 31. By replacing that small amount of grass, the depot is estimated to save 357 gallons per year, Hatcher said.

Another 10,000 sq. feet of synthetic turf is scheduled to be installed at the depot’s Child Care Center later this month.

Hatcher said that another way the depot is taking action is by limiting the hours of irrigation systems operations from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Previously, the sprinklers ran until 10 a.m. In addition, all newly installed landscaping will be drought-tolerant plants. These heat- and drought-tolerant varieties can survive on natural rainfall.

According to, watering the lawn between midnight and 6 a.m., reduces the amount of evaporation and therefore saves a substantial amount of water on landscaping.

Depot personnel can help with water conservation every day in their homes and at work. Hundreds of gallons of water can be saved a week by fixing leaky faucets, washing only full loads of laundry and dishes, shortening showers, and watering the lawn less often.

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