December 14, 2001

Water Authority Receives $300,000 Grant From CALFED Funds support Authority's high-efficiency clothes washer voucher program

The San Diego County Water Authority, in conjunction with its member agencies, received a $300,000 grant from Patrick Wright, Executive Director of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, along with an update on CALFED issues at the December board meeting today at the Water Authority headquarters in Kearny Mesa. The grant supports the Water Authority's residential high-efficiency clothes washer voucher program, which is available to customers in 21 participating water districts from Otay Mesa to Oceanside. Over 500 of the vouchers are still available for qualified customers. Eligible residents using this program can receive a $125 discount if they present the voucher at the time of purchase of a high-efficiency washer. Vouchers are treated like coupons by the more than 50 participating retailers located throughout San Diego County. This guarantees customers an immediate discount when qualifying washers are purchased.

"By encouraging the use of these machines, the Water Authority has saved over 115 million gallons of water since this program began," said Jim Turner, chairman of the Water Authority board. "This CALFED grant has enabled us to increase the values of these vouchers from the $75 we offered last year to $125 today, making these machines more affordable than ever for our customers."

Customers must have a voucher prior to purchasing a qualifying washer. A toll-free call to the Voucher Processing Center starts the process by calling 1-800-986-4538 for information or a voucher. Requests for vouchers will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Clothes washers are the second largest water user in a typical home," explains Bill Jacoby, water resources manager for the Water Authority. "High-efficiency clothes washers use 40 percent less water than the standard models currently in most San Diego County homes, and as an added bonus are more energy efficient as well."

In addition to Water Authority vouchers, high-efficiency washer rebates worth $75 may be available from SDG&E through December 9. Customers can call 1-800-411-7343.

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