Water Efficiency is a California Way of Life
About California’s Current Drought
According to Drought.ca.gov, California’s third year of drought is marked by the driest winter months in 100 years. The period over January to March experienced the least rain and snow on record for any of these months in California, which overshadowed gains in precipitation at the end of 2021. Snow melted faster than expected, reducing snowpack to just 38 percent of average by April. This is the state’s second extreme drought in 10 years, a symptom of a warming climate.
Our region continues to experience dry and drought-like conditions which means it’s no longer about conserving only in drought periods, but instead making water efficiency a California way of life. One wet winter is not enough water to correct the long-term impacts of the severe drought. We need to keep using water wisely to ensure we have enough for when the next drought happens.
Click here to see the latest drought news and how local water agencies are planning for drought.
Check out the latest drought conditions for California; courtesy of the US Drought Monitor.
In March 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order ordering the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to evaluate the adoption of regulations banning irrigation of “non-functional” turf (or grass), such as decorative grass adjacent to large industrial and commercial buildings. The ban would not include residential lawns or grass used for recreation, such as school fields, sports fields and parks.
The move calls on local water suppliers to move to Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which require locally-appropriate actions to conserve water across all sectors. The Department of Water Resources estimates a potential water savings of several hundred thousand acre-feet. An acre-foot of water serves the needs of approximately three households for a year.
In May of this year, EVMWD’s Board of Directors voted to implement new water saving guidelines consistent with the state of California.
Reduce our water use by 10-20 percent.
To achieve the 10-20 percent reduction goal, EVMWD must set restrictions detailed in EVMWD’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan to address water shortage stages and how they are determined.
While all Californians can do their part during the drought, EVMWD continues to take steps to maintain and improve local sustainability and resiliency.
Some of the steps we are taking include:
- Collaboration with other agencies to develop regional solutions for water supply issues in Southwest Riverside County
- Investment into local supplies, through optimization of storage in Elsinore basin and increasing indirect potable reuse options
- Limit landscape irrigation between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Adjust irrigation systems to avoid overspray and overwatering.
- Water by hand using a hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle or drip irrigation system if watering during the day.
- Cover your swimming pool. Do not fill uncovered swimming pools.
- Operation of fountains and similar structures must be equipped with a recirculating system.
- Fix leaky faucets, toilets, pipes and irrigation systems.
- Do not wash down driveways or sidewalks.
- Wash your vehicle only with a hose and shutoff nozzle.
“We thank our customers for being water conscious. As we all rise to the occasion during this unprecedented drought, we are here to help.”
Haley Munson, Water Efficiency Specialist
Contact EVMWD at any time with questions about the current drought and how to save water.
Learn more about water saving rebates and incentives for your home or business.
AquaHawk is a great resource for EVMWD customers to monitor their water usage online. All customers are required to stay within Tier 2. In addition to monitoring water usage, AquaHawk provides you with multiple benefits through smart metering. Click here to learn more.
- In partnership with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, water saving rebates are also available for commercial customers. Visit SoCalWaterSmart.com to learn more and to apply for a rebate.
EVMWD has approximately 50 associations located throughout its service area. State laws have been enacted to prohibit homeowners from being penalized for practicing conservation efforts, particularly during state drought emergencies.
A free toolkit is available for HOAs. To learn more about the toolkit and receive helpful information for your community’s newsletter or other mailings, please contact Hmunson@evmwd.net or call (951) 674-3146 x8247.