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Happy Earth Day

A monthly update from the Richmond Chamber Government Relations Committee. Written by Michelle Blackwell, Chair.

conserve_waterIn April, the Government Relations Committee meeting focused on water conservation and a discussion about the minimum wage proposals at the council.

The current water year is one of the driest on record and EBMUD is currently asking everyone to reduce use by 10%. Charles Bohlig, Supervisor of Water Conservation, from EBMUD described rebate programs the business community can access to offset the costs of water use reduction. If you are a manufacturer or industrial customer, EBMUD will work with you to find ways to cut your use. For example a recent system conversion at Bayer saved the company about $80,000 annually. Landscape replacement savings are an easy fix. EBMUD’ s maximum rebate for commercial landscape replacement is $20,000 per business. For more information about commercial and industrial rebate click here.

EBMUD studies indicate that 17% of a single family’s home water use is caused by leaks; typically toilets, hot water heaters, and irrigation systems are your most common sources of leaks. Commercial buildings can have the same issues. So how much water should a business be using? Your office or retail staff should be using about 10 gallons per person per day.

EBMUD has also created and made available mirror clings and table tents for the hospitality and business community. They are available for free by clicking here.

Now about that minimum wage increase…

American Textile and Palace Furniture attended the meeting to express their dismay at the changes proposed by the council and how they will impact their businesses. They urged the Chamber to take action and fight the ratification of the current proposal. They planned to rally their cohorts to persuade the Council to delay until a more thorough vetting could be done of the proposal. It appears they succeeded as the Council did delay the decision at the April 15th council meeting. I will recommend the Chamber Board take up this issue at the May 8th Board meeting.

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