Elected officials, along with transportation and water-district leaders, gathered to launch a multi-agency water conservation campaign in Orange County, Calif., with the message, “Every Drop Counts,” to help raise awareness and address the state’s severe drought.

A bus wrapped with the conservation messages was unveiled with the help of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board of directors outside OCTA’s headquarters. Other public agencies participating in the campaign include Caltrans, the County of Orange, Irvine Ranch Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County and the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

Along with wrapped buses, the campaign will include printing and distributing window clings with the conservation message at public events that agencies also will use on their fleets.

Internally, OCTA has embraced the message that every drop counts for many years. The agency has cut back by 21% on its water usage by washing buses less frequently, installing drought-resistant landscaping, and installing low-flow faucets and toilets at all bases and transit centers.

Prior to 2005, OCTA washed its buses daily. That year, the number was cut to three times a week and was further cut to twice a week. In addition, a treatment system was installed to reclaim and filter the water for reuse, saving about 30 gallons each wash.

Low-water vegetation and artificial turf will continue to be planted when possible and low-flow toilets and faucets will continue to replace the older models on OCTA’s properties.

OCTA’s partnering agencies are also leading their own efforts to cut back on water use and encourage others to save every drop possible.

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