As you’re no doubt aware, California is in the throes of one of the worst droughts in our state’s history. In January, a drought state of emergency was declared by Gov. Jerry Brown in which officials have been directed to take actions they deem necessary in order to prepare the state for any possible water shortages.

The governor went a step further last month when he announced the first-ever statewide mandatory water reductions. These restrictions are designed to reduce water usage by 25 percent over the next nine months to save approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of water.

The effects of these restrictions on the state’s economy and our personal lifestyles are as yet unknown, as are their eventual effects on the impact of the drought. But they do serve as a reminder that each one of us as Californians has a responsibility to do all we can to conserve water.

I would like to take this a step further for California business owners and entrepreneurs: I believe that we have an even greater responsibility to conserve our precious water resources. In fact, I think that California business leaders have a moral obligation to include water conservation as part of our corporate culture.

Every business has a corporate culture, whether they realize it or not. This culture reflects the beliefs, values and behaviors of everyone who works at the business, but it starts at the top of the organization.

Business leaders are responsible for setting the tone that ultimately forms the foundation for their corporate culture. When it comes to water conservation, the best way to do this is to proactively put into practice steps that will result in water savings at your place of business.

As the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power notes in its 10-step Water Conservation Program for Businesses, this starts with a sincere desire on the part of management to eliminate water waste.

“For any program to be successful, the desire to conserve water must be present from the highest level of management on down,” the program states. “Upper management should understand and accept the fact that water conservation is necessary, and be fully committed to its support.”

A good first step, according to the program, is to appoint a water conservation manager. Placing a single person in charge of water conservation usually leads to better conservation results..

Setting goals

It’s also important to set a few water conservation goals and apply some common sense to your efforts. Your goals should be realistic, but also aggressive enough to require serious effort on the part of employees and result in noticeable and measurable water conservation results.

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