California Drought: What We Can Do
California is experiencing one of its periodic droughts after two consecutive years of below-normal precipitation. This period will have a significant impact on our water supply and increases the risk of wildfires. State agencies have been working together to address drought impacts and to protect people, natural resources and economic activity.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Track water supply outages in your county
- Manage your own water conservation
- Explore active drought information and resources for California
- Choose fire-resistant and drought-tolerant landscaping
More local information about the drought and water saving programs can be found on the City of Santa Rosa Water, Petaluma Water, Marin Water and websites. Let’s work together and conserve water to preserve California.
SONOMA COUNTY WATER RESOURCES
SANTA ROSA RESIDENTS ONLY:
City of Santa Rosa Water is offering FREE outdoor, in-person, socially distant WaterSmart Check-Ups. During the Check-Up they will evaluate irrigation system for efficiency, offer recommendations for efficient water equipment and review eligibility for rebates.
FREE WaterSmart devices (showerhead, kitchen and bathroom sink aerators, hose nozzles and more) are also available for pick-up at 69 Stony Circle; Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PETALUMA RESIDENTS ONLY:
Petaluma Water has a mandate to reduce water use by 25 percent. Check the Petaluma Water website for the current watering schedule.
Petaluma Water also offers its customers water conservation tips, rebates and FREE water saving tools. The City of Petaluma is also offering free mulch, compost, cardboard, and an irrigation conversion kit to qualified customers who wish to transition to a water-resistant landscape. The Mulch Madness Program ends on October 1, 2021 – see if you qualify.
MARIN COUNTY WATER RESOURCES
With reservoir levels at historic lows, Marin Water declared a water shortage emergency and adopted mandatory water use restrictions. The goal of the restrictions is to achieve a 40 percent reduction in water use districtwide. View the watering schedule and rules for your neighborhood.
Marin Water’s website also has information on available rebates and tips on how to conserve water.
WATER SAVING TIPS:
Indoor Water Tips
- Purchase a front-load washing machine that uses 40 percent less water. Check with your local water provider for rebates.
- Don’t let water run while shaving, brushing teeth or rinsing dishes.
- When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.
- Listen for dripping faucets and toilets that flush themselves. Fixing a leak can potentially save hundreds of gallons each month.
- Check your toilet for leaks.
- Learn how to read your water meter.
- Prevent and report water waste.
- Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only.
Outdoor Water Tips
- Water between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind. Water your lawn and garden in two short cycles rather than one long one. Watering to a depth of 4 to 6 inches will encourage deeper healthier roots and allow the plants to go without water for longer periods of time.
- Target your water use in your garden by hand watering exactly in the spots that need it.
- Inspect and tune-up your sprinkler system monthly. Adjust your sprinkler heads to prevent water draining off your lawn and down the gutter. Reduce sprinkler run-time, and don’t be a gutter flooder.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway, deck or patio. Washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 50 gallons of water every five minutes.
- Your water meter is an important conservation tool. It not only measures the amount of water you use, but can also tell you if there is a leak in your plumbing.
- Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car, or take your car to a car wash that recycles. Save water by extending the time between car washes or take your car to a Sonoma Green Car Wash.
- Cover pools and hot-tubs to reduce evaporation.
- Sheet mulching is a simple technique for converting lawn to a low water use garden and nurturing the soil.