Residential WaterSmart FAQ
What is the best way to save water?
That depends on the specific attributes to your home. To help evaluate where you could begin, check out this online water-use calculator.
Changes made to your outdoor landscape have the potential to bring about the greatest water savings because many people have already replaced water-wasting devices inside their homes and businesses.
Why should we conserve water?
Our Mediterranean climate means truly wet years are few and multiple dry years are common. Our region will continue to face significant water supply challenges in the future, so living a WaterSmart lifestyle – intelligently using our available water resources and avoiding water waste – needs to be an embedded community ethic. Fortunately, our region is embracing water conservation as a social norm; a 2015 public opinion poll showed that 85 percent of our region’s residents agreed that the current water supply situation is very serious and nearly two-thirds supported mandatory water-use restrictions to combat the drought. The Water Authority expects conservation to make up to 13 percent of the region’s water supply needs by 2020.
How much water does the San Diego region use?
Per capita water use in the Water Authority’s service area has fallen from more than 200 gallons per person/day to about 150 gpcd (gallons per capita per day) over the past decade. In 2014 total regional use of potable water was less than it was in 1990, even with a population increase of approximately 30 percent over that period. Since 1991, the Water Authority’s water use efficiency programs and initiatives cumulatively have conserved more than 930,000 acre-feet of water. These savings have been achieved through measures ranging from incentives on water-efficient devices, to legislative efforts, to outreach campaigns and programs. The region is on track to meet the state’s mandate to reduce per capita water use 20 percent by 2020.
What is the one thing I should do to conserve water?
Many people don’t realize that a majority of water use—and water waste—occurs outdoors. Limiting or improving the efficiency of your outdoor water use is the best way to save large amounts of water. Find and fix leaks, adjust sprinklers that spray paved areas, and adhere to any landscape watering rules set by local water providers. These steps can save a lot of water without sacrificing a healthy landscape.
Are incentives available for homeowners?
The Water Authority makes saving water easier with several residential programs and incentives .
How much rainwater can you catch from the roof?
Using a rain barrel to collect water when it rains is a great idea. In theory, you can collect about 0.62 gallons per square foot of collection surface per inch of rainfall. Keep in mind that in our semi-arid climate most the precipitation we receive is from December through March. In the summer it is unlikely that you will be able to catch any rainfall.
How much water does a pool use?
A typical outdoor pool holds 20,000 gallons of water. The best way to save water if you have a pool is to keep it covered when it’s not in use to reduce evaporation.
Where does San Diego County’s water come from?
About 70 percent of the region’s water is imported from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is the Water Authority’s largest supplier, providing 45 percent of the water supplies for the region in 2012. Since 2003, the Water Authority has received a growing percentage of its water supply from long-term water conservation and transfer agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District and conserved water from projects that lined portions of the All-American and Coachella canals in Imperial Valley. Other local supply sources include groundwater, local surface water and recycled water. The Water Authority also has a contract to buy desalinated seawater from the Carlsbad Desalination Project. Water from that project is expected to be available starting in 2016.
Why is checking for leaks so important?
Even small leaks can waste considerable amounts of water. Fixing a single leaky faucet can save up to 20 gallons per day.
Is there a specific law governing landscape water use in California?
Yes. Assembly Bill 1881 (2006) required all local agencies to adopt a water-efficient landscape ordinance by Jan. 1, 2010. The California Department of Water Resources’ Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance reflects the state’s policy of promoting conservation and efficient use of water in landscapes. In addition, land-use agencies within San Diego County have enacted water-efficient landscaping ordinances. Visit the state’s landscape ordinance for more information or check with your local water agency for any ordinances for your area.