Sacramento, California — For the second time this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called local water leaders to call for continued action to reduce water use and help Californians make lasting changes to adapt to a hotter, drier future.
Preliminary data, based on 95 percent of the population, shows that Californians reduced their water use by 7.5 percent this June compared to June 2020. At Friday’s meeting, the governor again urged water utilities to continue local efforts to reduce water use in the face of limited supplies due to extreme heat and drought. He also urged water agencies and boards to think beyond the immediate needs of water conservation as the state — and the entire West — navigates climate change in a hotter, drier environment.
“We are dealing with a changing climate in California that requires us to rethink not only how we use water, but also how we capture, store and distribute it across the state,” Governor Newsom said. “We’re going in the right direction, but we need local water utilities to do more to not only conserve water, but to help the state manage and increase supplies as rain and snowfall are less reliable.”
The first meeting took place in May, when water use data showed that Californians were using more water despite calls for cuts. At the meeting, Governor Newsom urged water authorities to increase efforts to reduce water use during extreme drought conditions. Since then, every urban area in California has enacted plans to reduce water use. A statewide ban on watering non-functional lawns in commercial and industrial settings went into effect in June. The ban is expected to save between 156,000 and 260,000 acre-feet per year, equivalent to the water used by 780,000 homes in a year.
The state provided Californians with these water-saving measures to take immediately to avoid a crisis, including:
- Limit outdoor watering—even cutting back just one day a week can save up to 20 percent more water.
- Shorter showers. Go for a 5-minute shower to save up to 12.5 gallons per shower when using a water-saving showerhead.
- Shower instead of bath – a bath uses up to 2.5 times as much water as a shower.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas to save 6 gallons of water per minute.
- Wash full loads of laundry to save 15-45 gallons of water per load.
You can find more tips on saving water here.