Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning


City and Regional Planning


Chris Clark


This study is an academic research project completed to satisfy the California Polytechnic Master Thesis Requirement for the Master Degree of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

The County of San Luis Obispo Planning and Building Department is the client for this professional project. The project was requested by the County of San Luis Obispo to assist in its water conservation efforts and to help achieve a 20 percent per capita reduction of water use by the year 2020.

The project consists of two documents: A Handbook of Water Conservation Technologies and Practices (Handbook) and the Background Report for the Water Conservation Handbook (Background Report).

The Handbook is intended to provide a quick guide to various water conserving fixtures and appliances that developers and residents throughout the County of San Luis Obispo can reference for personal use. The Handbook includes information on the type of technology, the benefits in terms of water saving potential, and the cost of implementation. The Handbook is organized based on Indoor and Outdoor water uses.

The Background Report is a supplemental document for the Handbook which provides more in depth descriptions and examples on each technology. The Background Report also provides history on water conservation issues in California and San Luis Obispo. It looks at two case studies: one, on the water conservation efforts in Phoenix, Arizona, and two, on a plumbing retrofit project on the Cal Poly Campus that was awarded LEED certification for its water savings. Furthermore, the Background Report explores case studies in the use of community participatory planning to produce water conservation plans. The studies focused on a Community Plan development in Arroyo Grande, California, and on an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan in the Greater Los Angeles Region. The Background Report concludes by providing some cautionary advice on water conservation technologies and provides future recommendations for the county of San Luis Obispo to improve its water conservation efforts.