Regional Water Reductions Hit 40 Percent in May

SACRAMENTO– Sacramento-area residents reduced their water use by 40 percent in May 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 May water use data submitted to RWA and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water
Board).

The reductions likely reflect May’s cooler temperatures and April and May’s rain showers combined with increasing public awareness about the drought’s severity, said Amy Talbot, RWA’s Water Efficiency Program Manager.

“Residents continue to demonstrate their commitment to conservation. May’s figures are outstanding. However, we face our toughest test in June, July and August as temperatures reach 100-plus degrees and the temptation to ramp up sprinklers becomes ever more intense,” Talbot said.

In April, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order mandating all Californians to reduce water use. The State Water Board, which is charged with implementing the Governor’s Executive Order, set mandatory water conservation targets for California’s communities. In the Sacramento region, targets range from 20 percent to 36 percent. May is the last month before mandated statewide cutbacks take effect.

“The clock is ticking,” Talbot said. “We’re appealing to residents to keep up the great savings throughout the summer by continuing to limit landscape water use, following their water provider’s guidelines. Most household water use occurs outdoors, and summer is our best opportunity to achieve the ambitious targets set by the State Water Board.”

In particular, local water providers offer the following top five tips:
• Limit landscape watering, following your water providers guidelines.
• Add two to three inches of organic mulch around trees and plants.
• Water your yard early in the morning or later at night to reduce evaporation.
• Adjust sprinklers to avoid overspray and runoff.

Many water providers throughout the region have ramped up their existing services and programs to help customers conserve, doubling and tripling the amount of funding available compared to previous years.

More information about watering guidelines and new rebate programs, as well as tips for reducing water use while helping landscapes and trees endure the drought, 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.