In partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the California Conservation Corps, Ecology Action developed the WaterLink program to tackle the drought and climate change together. WaterLink is one of only eight projects that was funded statewide by the Department of Water Resources in their 2015 water-energy drought response grant program. WaterLink is a water/energy savings program that achieves drought and climate resilience by providing free, turnkey water and energy upgrades to residents, schools, public agencies, and businesses throughout Santa Clara County in areas that are disproportionately affected by higher levels of pollution and economic challenges.
WaterLink is designed to accelerate drought response in California by combining both financial incentives and the expert technical assistance that residents and businesses need to take immediate action. The program will provide free direct installation of cost-effective, indoor hot water conservation measures in single- and multi-family residential units, commercial kitchens, skilled nursing facilities, and hotels in select regions of Santa Clara County. It will likewise replace lawns and upgrade irrigation systems at schools and institutional facilities in those areas. The turf replacement will be implemented in collaboration with California Conservation Corps, providing them with valuable paid work and green job training experiences.
- Pioneer a new program delivery approach while maximizing water and energy conservation achieved per grant dollar spent.
- Concurrently tackle the drought and climate change by targeting water end uses with high embedded energy to maximize greenhouse gas emission reduction.
- Provide job training and reduce utility bills to help communities thrive economically while protecting the environment.
- Engage and assist community residents and businesses who have limited resources to prepare for climate change in their community by reducing water demand indoors and in their landscapes.
The WaterLink program will lead to the installation of conservation measures that will save an estimated 534.638 million gallons of water and 137,993,089 kWh of energy which will result in an estimated 30,999,331 kg CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas reduction over the measures’ lifetime.