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Tracy Quinn, Water Policy Analyst, Santa Monica, California

Tracy Quinn
I grew up in Southern California, then moved to the East Coast to brave the upstate New York winters at Cornell University where I received a B.S. and Masters of Engineering in Agricultural & Biological Engineering. I spent the first 10 years of my career as a scientist/civil engineer working on a variety of water related projects — from modeling the migration of pollutants in groundwater to designing water treatment facilities. Second only to my passion for water is my passion for travel. Whenever I can I like to jump on a plane to some place off the beaten path. Some of my favorite trips have been climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc — 108 miles in the Rhone-Alps, backpacking through Bosnia & Croatia, getting caught in an incredible thunderstorm in Paraguay, and being briefly detained by the Polícia Federal in Brazil. At NRDC, I work with the Water Efficiency Team advocating for improvements in and more widespread use of water efficient products.

Recent Posts

How a California State Agency Is Dropping the Ball on Water Efficiency During an Epic Drought

Posted August 28, 2015 by Tracy Quinn

Earlier this week, a state agency tasked with revising green building codes that aim to ensure new buildings are water and energy efficient presented proposals for new code language to a green code advisory committee. The proposals not only fell...continued

Why The Lawn Must Die

Posted July 7, 2015 by Tracy Quinn

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Comments (3)

Water is one of the most important natural resources on our planet and it is necessary for the survival of all life. Even more precious is water clean enough to drink, to cook with, and to bathe. Why then, in...continued

California Energy Commission Takes Step to Save California Billions of Gallons of Water

Posted April 8, 2015 by Tracy Quinn

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California is experiencing an epic drought ... the worst in more than 1,000 years! And as we face a fourth consecutive year of drought - with no end in sight - that warrants bold and immediate action from the state....continued

Thanksgiving Water-Saving Tips

Posted November 26, 2014 by Tracy Quinn

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This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that — despite the epic drought in California — we still have enough water for essential uses … like cooking up a delicious holiday feast. But as you prepare to brine that turkey (or Tofurky) and...continued

Can We Make L.A. Graywater Ready?

Posted October 14, 2014 by Tracy Quinn

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The City of Los Angeles has crossed the Rubicon by implementing unprecedented city-wide water reduction goals. L.A.’s compelling decision comes in response to the devastating drought affecting the entire state of California, projections for another dry winter, and the concern...continued

Why the Ice Bucket Challenge Gives Me the Chills

Posted August 22, 2014 by Tracy Quinn

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Can one responsibly participate AND be water smart … even in an epic drought?! If you’re like me, your Facebook newsfeed has been filled with videos of friends, family, and celebrities taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (#alsicebucketchallenge)....continued

Friends Don't Let Friends Waste Water

Posted August 4, 2014 by Tracy Quinn

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I was watching an episode of The Simpsons the other night and in the opening scene, Marge is nagging Homer to fix a leaky faucet. Of course, Homer puts it off and his laziness has dire consequences as the wasted water...continued

How Can You Reduce Your Water Footprint?

Posted March 10, 2014 by Tracy Quinn

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How much water do you use every day?  The answer might surprise you.  A paper released online last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that Americans significantly underestimate their water use. Curious how my friends...continued

California is Setting the Standards: A Continuing Series on the California Energy Commission Process

Posted August 6, 2013 by Tracy Quinn

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Efficiency Standards for Toilets and Faucets Will Save Money & Power When you leave the faucet running while you brush your teeth, you probably realize you’re wasting water, but did you know you’re also wasting energy? That’s because it takes...continued

Hidden Leaks, One Trillion Gallons Wasted - How More Accurate Meters Can Help

Posted March 22, 2013 by Tracy Quinn

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Last Friday was World Water Day, a day set aside to focus attention on the importance of sustainable management of our drinking water and importantly, where that water comes from, throughout the world. Today, on the heels of World Water...continued

San Francisco's Green Credentials in Question when it comes to Water Efficiency

Posted October 19, 2012 by Tracy Quinn

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San Francisco has a reputation as one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the country, if not the world, and in many respects that assertion is correct.  According to, which named San Francisco one of the 5 Most...continued

Is California On Track to Meet Its 2020 Conservation Goals?

Posted October 11, 2012 by Tracy Quinn

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Comments (5)

There are many reasons why California needs to start using water more efficiently, and do so quickly.  Excessive water demand is threatening the most important estuary on the West Coast – the Bay-Delta ecosystem just east of San Francisco.  If...continued


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