RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Altman Specialty Plants knows how to grow plants, they’re experts at it. The Riverside nursery, in tandem with Western Municipal Water District, also knows how to grow water savings. By working with Western over the last several months, Altman Plants was awarded a Metropolitan Water District Water Savings Incentive of up to $500,000 to capture, treat and reuse the nursery’s irrigation water to improve water use efficiency.
In times of drought like California is now experiencing, this low-cost alternative in water efficiency savings as compared to imported water is one more way water agencies are stretching scarce water supplies. This project will save 111 million gallons of water every year.
“Altman Plants is keenly aware of how to use water wisely,” commented Western’s Board Vice President Don Galleano, who is an Inland Empire vintner. He also noted that Altman cultivates plants for the regionally collaborative Inland Empire Garden Friendly program. “We’re very proud to partner with a customer like Altman who takes the lead in using less water. It’s a great example for other businesses to emulate.”
“These projects, which offer significant water savings, are critically important to our District and our region,” explained Board Member Tom Evans, who also represents Western on the Metropolitan Board. “As a Metropolitan agency, Western has worked diligently to create programs and partnerships that utilize the efficiency funding,” he added. “Our agency has made a huge impact on water savings in our service area with these creative and successful programs.”
Altman grows landscape plants – annuals and perennials, along with grasses, herbs, vegetables and bedding plants – on approximately 375 acres within Western’s Riverside service area. The facility serves as a major distribution center for much of California and parts of Nevada and Arizona.
The water resource efficiency project will capture irrigation runoff from the nursery, treat and reuse the water for additional irrigation. It includes constructing a new on-site storage facility, lining of an existing reservoir, installing two pumping plants and a treatment facility. The project is being implemented with technical and financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“We believe our reuse project will represent a 33 percent reduction in water use,” said Jim Hessler, general manager of Altman Specialty Plants.
Metropolitan’s Water Savings Incentive Program provides financial incentives for commercial, industrial, institutional, agriculture and large landscape projects that improve water use efficiency reduce water consumption and increase regional water supply reliability. Customized projects are eligible for incentives of up to $195 per acre-foot of water saved. For more program information, visit bewaterwise.com.
Western Municipal Water District provides water supply, wastewater disposal and water resource management to the public in a safe, reliable, environmentally sensitive and financially responsible manner.