Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
While education is an important component of a conservation program, it is not the answer to the immediate problem. Education is a generational measure, wherein the benefits come to fruition in the future. Manteca has had an active conservation informational program in place for over 20 years which has identified the benefits of conserving water by reducing the amount of water used in residential bathrooms, kitchens, and laundering. However, given the severe drought facing us today it is imperative we have a more aggressive water conservation program in addition to water flow restrictors, efficient appliances, and restrictive watering times. Frankly, since there is no reversing our ever-depleting water resources; time has come to develop a culture wherein water conservation is a normal process of life.
Today, the installation of tankless water heaters is one of the most effective methods in accomplishing water savings in homes and apartment units. A tankless water heater (smaller than a cereal box) supplies hot water directly to the lavatory faucet or kitchen faucet and dishwasher, there is no need run the water while waiting for the hot water. A properly located whole house tankless water heater (gas or electric) can supply hot water to showers, tubs, and clothes washer; again there is no need to run the water waiting for hot water. And finally, when someone has used all the hot water bathing, there is no need to wait an hour for the garage tank water heater to make more hot water.
In response to those people that claim tankless water heaters are costly and difficult to install, I say, “bull potty!” As a building designer, I routinely spec gas and electric tankless water heaters for both new construction and retrofitting residential and commercial projects. Retrofitting an existing tank water heater with a tankless unit is simple because all the piping and venting are already in place. In new construction, some piping is not needed and venting may not be required, and the $500 tank water heater located in the garage goes away.
I recommend the Council do two things, (while the development community may bellow) every new home built in Manteca should be equipped (not as an option) with tankless water heaters and an aggressive retrofit program needs to be implemented for existing homes. The truth is, the increased cost, if any, of doing so is measured in pennies, but the reduction in water use is sizable.