Continued Conservation Critical to Meeting State Mandates
SACRAMENTO– Sacramento-area residents conserved 33 percent in November 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 November water use data submitted to RWA and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board). This follows reductions of 27 percent in both September and October.
The Sacramento region continues to answer the Governor’s call to conserve during this ongoing historic drought, said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot. While we’re all hoping a strong El Nino will bring some relief, it’s going to be critical to keep conserving water in the next several months in order to meet state-mandated water conservation targets.
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.)
One of the easiest and most important actions residents can take now is to turn off sprinklers until spring while continuing to monitor and care for your trees, Talbot said. Winter’s shorter and typically rainy days mean that landscapes can go without supplemental watering, Talbot said. While sprinklers are off, be sure to monitor your trees to ensure they are getting the water they need. Information about helping trees survive the drought is available at BeWaterSmart.info.
Talbot also advised residents and businesses to make a longer-term investment in water efficiency by replacing older fixtures and appliances with high-efficiency models. If a shiny new commode isn’t on your holiday gift list, maybe it should be, Talbot said, adding that many water providers offer rebates for replacing older toilets and clothes washers. Be sure to look for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s WaterSense label.
Other tips include:
- Limit shower time: Less time in the shower can pay off with big savings, even if you already have a water-efficient showerhead. Keeping showers to five minutes (instead of 10) will save 12.5 gallons every time.
- 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. When you find leaks, be sure to turn off water to the problem area until it can be repaired.
- Wash only full loads of laundry: Waiting until the washer is full can save 15 to 45 gallons per load, depending upon the efficiency of your machine. Other water-wise laundry tips: Wash clothes in cold water (which will also retain their color) to save energy, select the minimum amount of water required per load (for machines with a variable water volume setting) and use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled clothes.
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.