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Private Sector Building Owners Join DGS-Led Water Conservation Efforts

Friday, September 4, 2015

As one of the many steps the state of California has taken during the unprecedented drought, the Department of General Services (DGS) has been actively working with private sector building owners to cut water and energy use in state-leased facilities.

DGS manages approximately 1,800 leases statewide and encourages lessors to take every possible step to conserve water. These water-saving measures range from replacing turf with drought-tolerant plants to installing water-smart irrigation and plumbing fixtures with the goal of permanently conserving water at buildings serving state agency tenants.

In addition to significantly reducing water use, landlords are also realizing lower operating costs through lower utility bills.

The following DGS video – “DGS Leased Properties: Real Estate, Real Savings” – highlights actions taken by some of California’s commercial real estate managers who have state tenants as part of their real estate portfolios.

The video can be viewed at: 


In January 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared a drought state of emergency, tasking DGS with immediately implementing water use reduction plans for all state facilities.

DGS responded by taking the following measures at state facilities:

  • Cutting the amount of water used in landscaping at DGS properties by 20 percent. 
  • Shutting off water fountains and water features on state property, including the State Capitol grounds.
  • Instituting a moratorium on nonessential landscaping projects at state facilities. 
  • Cancelling contracts for water-intensive window washing at state facilities. 
  • Eliminating all car washes in the State Garage other than those required for safety. 
  • Issuing guidance through the Division of the State Architect to nearly 1,200 school administrators on best practices for conserving water at K-12 schools and community college campuses.
  • Placing signage in restrooms and other areas of state buildings to remind tenants and visitors of the urgent need to save water.  

California has been dealing with the effects of an unprecedented drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at

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At a Glance

Division of the State Architect

The Division of the State Architect provides design and construction oversight for state-owned facilities and public schools.

Facilities Management Division

The Facilities Management Division provides building management and administration, operations, maintenance, and repair services to support the state's real estate assets.

Office of Administrative Hearings

The Office of Administrative Hearings hears administrative disputes for state, local and county agencies, including special education due process hearings and mediations for school districts and parents of children with special education needs.
  • Office of Administrative Hearings at a glance.
  • Learn more about OAH.

Office of Fleet and Asset Management

The Office of Fleet and Asset Management oversees the state’s vehicle fleet, rental cars, parking facilities and surplus auctions.

Office of Public School Construction

The Office of Public School Construction facilitates the processing of School Facility Program construction applications to make voter-approved state bond matching funds available to qualifying school districts. The office implements and administers the $35 billion voter-approved program.

Office of State Publishing

The Office of State Publishing provides innovative printing and communication solutions and services to state, federal, county and city agencies.

Procurement Division

The Procurement Division oversees policies and procedures used by all state agencies in their purchasing and contracting activities. It develops innovative procurement solutions including statewide contracts, purchasing portals, and end-user training enabling state agencies to acquire the goods and services needed to serve the people of California.

Real Estate Services Division

The Real Estate Services Division is a full-service real estate organization. Its highest priority is to provide the highest level of customer service in fulfilling state agencies’ facility and real property needs.

Reporter's Guide to DGS

View answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions from reporters regarding many of DGS’ major responsibilities: A Reporter's Guide to DGS.

Ziggurat Building Photography


The DGS Office of Public Affairs is responsible for considering requests by professional photographers/videographers who desire access to the Ziggurat building’s 8th floor, northeast balcony in West Sacramento. DGS requires that a photographer is either on assignment from a bona fide news media outlet, or if not a photojournalist, that the photographer maintains a commercial website and/or provides verifiable references. 

Time frames: Photo shoots are limited to 30 minutes during business hours from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, as our schedule and the meeting room adjacent to the balcony in question allow. DGS public affairs staff will escort photographers into and out of the building and will stay with them throughout the shoot. For photography shoots after business hours, some photographers have chosen to set-up their equipment on the balcony for time-lapse shooting prior to 4:30 p.m. on a business day, they then retrieve their equipment on the next business day. DGS assumes no responsibility for any equipment left unattended in the building. Contact our office at least five working days prior to the proposed day and time of the photography shoot.  Contact:

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