SACRAMENTO— Sacramento-area residents reduced their water use by 31 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) and follow a similar trend in April, when reductions also reached 31 percent.
“The savings demonstrate several important factors—many residents in May were still in drought emergency mode,” said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot. “But, more importantly, I hope it shows that people are continuing the water-wise behaviors they adopted during the drought for the longer-term.”
A recent RWA public opinion poll found that nearly 95 percent of residents said they took action to reduce water use at home during the drought, and that nearly 79 percent of residents said they plan to permanently reduce their water use even after the drought is over.
“It’s important to continue this momentum for using water wisely created by the drought,” Talbot said, “which is why so many water providers in the region are continuing to encourage voluntary conservation despite the removal of state-mandated conservation targets.”
The State Water Resources Control Board on May 18 adopted new emergency water conservation regulations that allow water utilities to set their conservation standard based upon local water supply conditions and the utility’s ability to meet customer demand should the state experience three additional years of drought conditions. This new regulation took effect June 1.
RWA and local water providers recently launched a new outreach campaign encouraging residents to “Rethink Your Yard” and to make water efficiency a way of life. The campaign features people from throughout the Sacramento region who have embraced a water-wise lifestyle and decided to make permanent, long-term changes in the way they use water every day.
“We’re asking residents to also make the switch back to focusing on making changes that will yield long-term water savings,” Talbot said, including:
- Installing a WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler controller
- Removing or reducing thirsty lawn and replacing it with beautiful, low-water flowers and plants
- Replacing older, water-wasting sprinklers with high-efficiency MP rotators
Many water providers in the Sacramento region offer rebates to help offset costs for making these changes. Information about rebate programs, as well as tips for reducing water use, 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.