Marcio Jose Sanchez / The Associated Press

A discarded computer keyboard lies on the dry, cracked bed of the Almaden Reservoir in San Jose, Calif. on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 during the state’s worst drought in recorded history.

AT&T California president tells 34,000 employees to cut back on water usage

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 - 12:10 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 - 10:44 pm

AT&T is answering Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to conserve water amid ongoing drought conditions in California.

AT&T California President Ken McNeely on Friday directed AT&T’s 34,000 California employees to reduce their company water usage by 30 percent until the drought declaration is lifted.

McNeeley outlined specific measures to reach that goal. He asked employees to stop washing AT&T’s California fleet of more than 15,000 vehicles, reduce facility landscape irrigation by half, turn off decorative water features or fountains at corporate buildings, use brooms to clean job sites and generally remain vigilant in identifying water waste.

“Conserving enough water to maintain our farms and communities is critical to California’s economy,” McNeely said. “AT&T has been an integral part of the Golden State for more than a century. We’ve been partners through good times and bad, and we want to do our part to reduce non-essential water consumption.”

The company said employes will “immediately” start implementing water-conserving measures. AT&T conceded that the measures “may have an impact on the aesthetics of AT&T vehicles and facilities, but will not impact network operations or our dedication to customers.”

Last month, Brown declared an emergency and urged Golden State residents to cut their water use by 20 percent. He also told state agencies to reduce water use by 20 percent, that coming on top of his 2012 order that state agencies cut water consumption by 10 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.

Brown’s actions prompted a series of departmental water-conserving measures, similar to those announced Friday by AT&T. State measures have included cutting back on irrigation on some lands, delaying or canceling landscaping projects overseen by the Department of Transportation; the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection cutting back on washing its fire engines; and state Parks and Recreation turning off outdoor showers at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area near Riverside and diverting water from the leaky Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle to landscaping needs.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

Read more articles by Mark Glover

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