SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento region reduced water use by nearly 20 percent overall in 2014 compared to 2013, according to an analysis by the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties.
The findings come from a review of water use data submitted to RWA and the State Water Resources Control Board.
Overall, customers cut water use by 19.3 percent last year, saving 30 billion gallons of water compared to 2013. When considering water use reductions since February 2014, the first full month following the declaration of a drought emergency, the reduction was nearly 21 percent.
“The Sacramento region did an outstanding job at meeting the call to conserve 20 percent issued by local water providers and the Governor in 2014,” said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot.
Especially significant were water reductions in July and August when summer temperatures and water use typically peak. “Instead of ramping up landscape watering in response to the hot weather, customers cut water consumption by 22 percent in both July and August, saving significant amounts of water overall,” Talbot said. “Certainly, there is much more that can and should be done to conserve water, as California faces a fourth dry year and the snowpack remains well below normal. But our residents deserve kudos for the extraordinary steps they are taking to cut back,” Talbot said.
RWA and local water providers are urging residents to keep up the great work by:
- Letting Mother Nature do the watering: Keep sprinklers off until spring, watering by hand only if the weather stays dry for several weeks in a row.
Limiting 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.
- Washing 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.
- Turning off the faucet when brushing teeth or shaving: Every minute the bathroom faucet runs sends 2 gallons of water down the drain. Multiply that by the number of times you brush or shave a day, and all that water adds up. Instead of running a steady stream, use short bursts of water to rinse to save at least 10 gallons a day.
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.