SACRAMENTO– Sacramento-area residents conserved 33.5 percent in August compared to the same month in 2013, according to an analysis by the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter counties. The findings come from a review of August water use data submitted to RWA and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).
Since June, when state-mandated conservation targets took effect, the region has averaged a 37 percent reduction compared to 2013, RWA’s analysis found.
“The data shows that residents continued to conserve during the hottest days of summer when it’s most tempting to ramp up sprinklers,” said Amy Talbot, RWA’s Water Efficiency Program Manager. “However, in order to meet state targets, residents will have to continue high conservation rates into the fall.”
State-mandated water conservation targets for the Sacramento region range from 20 to 36 percent. Water providers face fines if they do not meet these targets from June 2015 through February 2016. (Conservation targets and each water provider’s watering restrictions can be found here.)
“It’s difficult to maintain the same level of conservation seen in summer during the typically colder and wetter winter months,” Talbot said. “In winter, as sprinklers are turned off, we’ll need to increasingly rely on indoor water conservation actions. These indoor actions are important, but they do not deliver the same amount of savings that come from limiting landscape watering.”
RWA and local water providers are urging residents to reduce landscape watering even more in the fall while continuing to take steps to protect trees. “The season’s shorter days, cooler temperatures and moisture from fog and rain mean your landscape needs less water,” Talbot said. “And when the rains do come, remember to turn off your sprinklers and let Mother Nature do the watering,” she added.
Additional water-conserving tips for fall include:
- Make a longer-term investment in water efficiency by replacing lawn with low-water use plants and efficient drip irrigation.
- Add two to three inches of organic mulch around trees and plants to conserve soil moisture.
- Water your yard early in the morning to reduce evaporation, following your water provider’s guidelines.
- Adjust sprinklers to avoid overspray and runoff.
Additional water-wise tips, plus information about rebates and free services to help residents use less water, are available at BeWaterSmart.info.
About the Regional Water Authority: RWA is a joint powers authority representing two dozen water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.