Sacramento Region Continues to Use Less Water Despite Drier, Warmer Weather

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento region continued to use less water in January compared to the previous two years despite the unusually dry and warm weather, according to an analysis of local water use data submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Regional Water Authority (RWA), which
represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties.

According to RWA’s analysis, water use in January 2015 dropped 18 percent compared to the same month last year, and dropped 3 percent compared to 2013 (the year the SWRCB uses for comparison).

The difference in water use over the past two years likely lies in weather patterns and landscape water use, said RWA’s Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot.

“January is typically one of the lowest water use months in the year, as winter rains rather than sprinkler systems water landscapes,” Talbot said. This was the case in January 2013, which followed two months of unusually wet weather that soaked local landscapes, driving water use down overall.

In contrast, the last two Januaries have been exceedingly dry and unusually warm. “Without Mother Nature watering landscapes, it’s typical for residents to turn on their sprinklers,” Talbot said. This is likely what happened last January, before local water providers urged residents to cut water use, and the Governor declared a statewide drought emergency.

“Water use in January 2015, was a whole different story–we’re in drought mode. So, despite the dry, warm weather, residents continued to keep their water use lower overall,” Talbot said.

RWA and local water providers urge residents to keep up the great work by continuing to limit outdoor watering. “Most household water use occurs outdoors. We’re asking people to keep sprinklers off until spring, watering trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens by hand only if the weather stays dry for several weeks in a row,” Talbot said.

Indoors, residents should check plumbing and appliances for leaks and fix them within 48 hours. “Steady faucet drips and running toilets are common sources of leaks that can waste thousands of gallons of water each month. Fixing them can be as simple as replacing a washer or toilet flapper, “Talbot said, adding that residents should turn off water to the leaky area until repairs can be made.

Additional water-saving tips plus information about rebates and free services available to help residents use less water is 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.