"Tightening the Water Belt" Is Focus of New PBS Segment

Latest Episode in the "California's Water" Series Airs Oct. 22

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - October 22, 2008) - Making long-term changes in the way Californians use water is the focus of the latest segment in the "California's Water" series for public television, produced by Huell Howser and underwritten by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). The segment, "Tightening the Water Belt," is set to air at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Oct. 22) on KCET in Los Angeles. Following its debut, it will air statewide on PBS stations (check local listings for details).

In the 30-minute segment, Huell visits the City of Long Beach to learn about its proactive approach to getting its customers to reduce their water use. The city was the first community to adopt mandatory water conservation since the last statewide drought in 1986-1992, and has launched a high-profile effort to educate residents on the benefits of using less water outdoors.

With all signs pointing to continued water supply challenges, many California communities are looking at ways to tighten their water belts. "As far as water is concerned, it's not business as usual in California," Huell says in the segment. "We're at a point where never again can we take our water for granted."

Huell gets a primer on outdoor water use and some of the ways homeowners can slash their monthly water bills by watering less, replacing thirsty lawns with water-efficient landscaping and installing "SMART" controllers for their irrigation systems. He gets a first-hand look at an attractive front-yard makeover sponsored by the Long Beach Water Department and chronicled in a recent local television program, "The Reluctant Gardener."

Kevin Wattier, general manager of the water department, said the city has adopted a long-term focus on changing behavior when it comes to water use. "People need to recognize that we have to do a better job in California of conserving water," he tells Huell.

The "California's Water" series began airing in April 2006.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.

Contact Information: Contact: Jennifer Persike ACWA Director of Strategic Coordination and Public Affairs 916/441-4545 916/296-3981 (cell) Ryan Alsop Long Beach Water 562/570-2314