Las Vegas Sun

September 29, 2022

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CONTENT PRESENTED BY Southern Nevada Water Authority

Water conservation can help your business save money

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Created and presented by Southern Nevada Water Authority

Water conservation efforts are good for the planet and your checkbook, but water-saving strategies don’t end at home. Commercial and industrial spaces account for 20% of water use in Southern Nevada. To help curb wasteful water consumption, Southern Nevada Water Authority offers rebates and incentives for businesses that upgrade to water-efficient technologies, devices, fixtures and water-smart landscaping. Here’s a look at those programs and how they have helped local business owners in the Valley.

Water Efficient Technologies Program

The Water Efficient Technologies (WET) program offers rebates and financial incentives to commercial and multifamily property owners who install water-efficient appliances. “Since 2001, businesses participating in the Water Efficient Technologies program have saved more than 14 billion gallons of water,” said Bronson Mack of Southern Nevada Water Authority. That’s enough to fill the Bellagio Fountains 637 times. While they do require an upfront cost, the implementation of such devices will provide business owners a return on their investment in cheaper water bills over time. To help offset these initial costs, SNWA offers rebates and performance-based monetary incentives that may cover up to 50%. Learn more at snwa.com. Here are preapproved water-saving technologies that WET participants can choose from:

• High-efficiency toilet retrofits

• Efficient showerhead retrofits

• Waterless and high-efficiency urinal retrofits

• Converting a sports field from grass to an artificial surface

• Retrofitting standard cooling towers with qualifying, high-efficiency drift elimination technologies

Water Smart Landscape Program

“Each square foot of grass consumes about 72 gallons of water a year, compared with about 17 gallons of water consumption for drip-irrigated landscapes,” Mack said. The Water Smart Landscape program for businesses offers $3 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with drip-irrigated plants and trees (up to 10,000 square feet a year), and $1.50 per square foot thereafter. Learn more atsnwa.com.

130 billion gallons

The amount the water smart landscape program has saved by replacing more than 190 million square feet of grass with drip-irrigated, water-efficient plants and trees.

Businesses that benefit

• Peccole Ranch Community Association: Since 2005, Peccole Ranch has converted about 350,000 square feet of grass landscaping to Water Smart Landscaping. It decreased its water use by 18% the past three years by installing smart irrigation controllers on its common area landscaping, which automatically adjusts watering schedules based on weather conditions. “You don’t have to have grass to be beautiful,” said Maryann Goodsell, community association vice president. “We thought it would take at minimum a year to see some kind of savings on our water bill. But it was within completion of the first season that we discovered substantial savings.”

• Terrible Herbst: Terrible Herbst has converted more than 156,000 square feet of grass at 23 properties in the Las Vegas Valley since 2003. The company has saved about 8.5 million gallons of water. “The conversions made by Terrible Herbst through the Water Smart Landscapes Rebate program illustrate how small changes in its operations resulted in significant water savings,” said SNWA Conservation Manager Doug Bennett.

• Lighthouse Property Management: Lighthouse Property Management upgraded showerheads, toilets and faucets in almost 500 units at its Avenue 965, Fifteen Fifty and The Marq at 1600 apartment complexes. The high-efficiency fixture updates are projected to save more than 3.6 million gallons of water. Lighthouse also converted more than 8,000 square feet of grass to Water Smart Landscaping. “Our company has been doing this for years across the country. It’s all about water conservation, especially here in Las Vegas,” said Cindy Lowry, Regional Property Manager.

• Thomas & Mack Company/McCarran Center: Thomas & Mack Company has completed 16 Water Smart Landscape projects, including removing more than 84,000 square feet of grass at the center near Warm Springs Road and I-215. The conversion projects have saved more than 4.6 million gallons of water and have netted the company $185,000 in Water Smart Landscape rebates from SNWA. “Whether you are holding your asset long term or positioning for sale, turf conversion adds value in the water savings and reduced maintenance,” said Leslie Shurmur, company Portfolio Director. “Reduced operating costs contributes to tenant retention, curb appeal for leasing, and the bottom-line cap rate. It’s the right thing to do if you are truly a community partner in Las Vegas.”