Water Use & Biodiversity
Water Use & Biodiversity
Water is the lifeblood of Hunter’s business. Our irrigation products rely on a robust supply of water. Without this vital resource, our products cannot operate and cultivate plant growth. Hunter’s responsibility for being stewards of water is incorporated into our product designs, manufacturing processes and facilities. Water is a finite resource and we strive to preserve it. The total water usage on campus last year was 25 million gallons of water. In an effort to support local wildlife and reduce our water use, we are undertaking a major project to restore a portion of our campus park back to its native habitat. Additionally we switched from our heavy reliance on distant vulnerable water sources to our own underground aquifer resulting in upstream energy and water savings.
H2O futures, an Environmental Design firm, completed an extensive water use assessment in 2010. From the results of the assessment we have embarked on multiple water reduction projects with a goal to use 25% less water by 2018.
Sources of Water
Hunter Industries, located in San Diego County, is at the end of both the Colorado River and California Aqueducts -- the primary water sources for Southern California. Our water comes from a well on campus and the Vallecitos Water District. Vallecitos receives 50% of its water from Colorado River water, 30% from Sacramento San Joaquin Delta water, and the rest from local supplies.
Our founders were vigilant that we remain as self-reliant as possible. Being in a flood plain with a rich aquifer, the founders dug a well which had been used sparingly until late 2011. With a greater awareness of the water energy nexus and carbon intensity needed to pump water from the Colorado River (242 mi) and the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta (444 mi), we decided to leverage our well.
Types of Water Use
The water used on Hunter’s campus is categorized as irrigation and industrial. Irrigation is water used outside, including testing done on products. Industrial is water used inside for cooling, energy production, manufacturing processes, employee use and indoor testing. Because our water meters are not segmented by water type, we are unable to report how much water we use by type.Back to Top
Our headquarters is located in Los Vallecitos de San Marcos (Little Valley of Saint Mark) at the middle basin of the San Marcos Creek. The creek basin is distinguished from arid surroundings by a shallow water table with abundant springs. Generally, the native soils are of a severely erodible character.
Being fertile land in an arid region, Pioneers and Native Americans settled the valley. In Hunter Park, there is even a historic building that was once a Butterfield Stage coach stop from the late 1800’s. The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board lists the San Marcos Creek and Lake San Marcos, an impoundment of the creek, as impaired bodies. The Batiquitos Lagoon, the creek's drainage basin, is a ecological reserve. The creek and lake are classified as impaired because quantities of DDE, a chemical found in pesticides, phosphorus, and sediment toxicity are above safety thresholds.
Hunter’s headquarters includes 9 building covering 478,000 square feet.
- 3 manufacturing facilities
- 1 warehouse/distribution center
- 5 office buildings
- 8 acre park
With our property situated in a flood plain with an impaired creek that flows into a biological reserve Hunter is mindful of its direct impacts. Our onsite risk management team ensures we work beyond compliance to care for the environmental health and safety of the campus. We have strict campus standards on the use of fertilizer and new building construction to ensure a healthy habitat.
Hunter Park Restoration
Given growing concern about water scarcity and water quality, as well as greater interest in native habitats, Hunter elected to return 1.7 acres to it's native habitat. From the wildlife agencies' perspective, this project represents an example that other private landowners might emulate. For Hunter, it constitutes an opportunity to showcase products in a different setting and save water.
In the spring of 2012, invasive plant material was eradicated using a herbicide that is safe to use in the proximity to water. The dead material was left in place, both to minimize erosion and to mulch the new plantings. Unlike the invasive plant material, none of the new plants will require fertilizer, thus creating a healthier habitat for critters (including humans) and providing cleaner soil and downstream water.
The "seep" areas, several areas on the uplands, are anomalous, perhaps natural or perhaps a factor of development. In any event, the seeps provide a perfect opportunity for diverse wetland grasses and willows. A native buttercup (tiny with a roundish leaf) spreads from these wetlands as groundcover.
In designing the arrangement of the plants, care was given to site lines and diverse views from the opposite shores.
The plants are from riparian and coastal sage scrub palettes. The scrub plants, in particular, are delicately scented. All the new plants have habitat value and will increase the presence of pollinators, birds, reptiles and mammals. The way water flows over the site is slightly compromised by the creek's channelization with rip-rap. The plants will be irrigated for about a year, at increasingly greater intervals. By the rainy season toward the end of 2013, the plants will be established and ready to thrive without additional irrigation.
Several of Hunter's irrigation products are showcased on the site, including MP Rotators, a relatively new technology, that will help the hydroseed establish. The hydroseed is from the coastal sage scrub palette.Back to Top
- Complete Hunter Park Restoration
- Develop the ability to track water use by type (irrigation vs. industrial) at our campus
- Perform an extensive irrigation audit