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SDG&E's New Water-Wise Landscaping Project at Century Park Expected to Reduce Water Usage by 40%

This week, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was joined by San Diego County and water officials to unveil its new water-wise landscaping project at Century Park, its Kearny Mesa headquarters. The newly-finished project is expected to save SDG&E over 4 million gallons of water a year (a 40% reduction on campus), that's equivalent to a swimming pool 40 feet deep, 200 feet wide and the length of three football fields.

"Last year, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency due to drought conditions and asked Californians to voluntarily double their water conservation efforts," said Michael Schneider, vice president of operations support and chief environmental office for SDG&E. "We took his call to action as an opportunity to not only do our part to conserve water, but to look at it as a chance to create a positive, sustainable change on our campus as a visible leader in our community."

Previously, SDG&E's landscaping at Century Park was 71 percent turf that required irrigation and regular maintenance. In keeping with SDG&E's goal of being a good environmental steward and achieving efficiencies, the existing landscape was replaced with drought-tolerant vegetation and xeriscape.

"SDG&E has shown the kind of leadership the San Diego region needs to continue increasing water conservation during this historic drought," said Mark Weston, chair of the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Water Authority. "I'm confident this project will inspire other companies to rethink their landscapes and look for ways to save every day, every way."

This project has really expanded beyond water conservation as SDG&E looked for additional opportunities to support the health and wellness of our employees. With the partnership, guidance and incentives from the Metropolitan Water District, San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego, SDG&E was able to incorporate a walking fitness path for employees aimed at supporting health, wellness and safety, all top priorities of SDG&E.

Through that partnership, SDG&E was also designated as the newest (and largest) Live Well San Diego partner by the County of San Diego.

"This new fitness trail promotes outdoor physical activity which is a key part of the Live Well San Diego initiative," said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn. "SDG&E has partnered with the County of San Diego on many successful programs including our annual Cool Zones and disaster preparedness. This Live Well partnership is one more example of great teamwork."

Live Well San Diego involves partners in all sectors – from government, to business, to schools, to faith-based and community organizations – through a shared purpose. Working together allows for planning and implementation of innovative and creative projects to bring Live Well San Diego's vision of a healthy, safe and thriving San Diego County to life.

Long before this recent call for conservation, SDG&E has been leading the way in sustainability by reducing its water usage overall. Electric substations have already reduced water use by 76 percent, which has saved more than 200 million gallons of irrigation water since 2004. Other employee-occupied facilities have also been retrofitted and landscaping converted saving 28 million gallons of water since 2009.

SDG&E is committed to conducting our operations in a way that preserves regional natural resources throughout our service territory, and hopes to lead by example by implementing the same environmentally friendly principles we share with customers.

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