Conservation strategies

The following water conservation tips should be incorporated into positive, water-use lifestyle changes. A healthy public, a thriving economy and a good quality of life depend on sustainable water supplies.

Smart irrigation and landscaping strategies

  • Water your lawns early in the morning before sunrise or in the evenings after sunset. This will maximize water absorption into the soil and minimize loss due to evaporation.
  • Water your lawn only when needed. Most plants do not need to be watered every day and excess watering not only wastes water, but can harm plants.
  • Make sure your sprinklers are leak-proof and not aimed on sidewalks, streets or driveways.
  • Landscape your yard and garden with Mediterranean-climate or California Friendly® plants from your local nursery as they do not require much water.
  • Set mower blades 2" to 3" and keep them sharp.
  • Use a trigger or automatic shut-off nozzle on your garden hose.
  • Use mulch around trees and plants.
  • Shut off your sprinklers after a rain.
  • Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water trees, shrubs and flower beds.
  • Save the slow delivery sprinklers for the lawn.
  • Integrate rocks, bricks, gravel, and decks into your landscaping.

In the bathroom

  • Take five-minute or less showers, and draw less water for baths.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Check for and fix "silent" leaks in toilets or plumbing fixtures.

In the kitchen or laundry

  • Only wash laundry with full loads.
  • Use a bowl or fill up the sink to clean vegetables.
  • Use your garbage disposal sparingly.
  • Don’t thaw food with hot water; instead use a microwave.
  • If you pre-clean dishes, fill the sink up instead of running the water.
  • Keep a gallon of cold water in the refrigerator rather than running the tap for cold water.
  • Consider installing an instant water heater on your sinks far from the main water heater.
  • Insulate your pipes to save heating costs.


  • Wash the car with a bucket instead of the hose.
  • Use a broom instead of water to clean your sidewalks and driveways.
  • Cover your spa or swimming pool.


  • Support local businesses that practice conservation. For example, commercial car washes that recycle their water, businesses that use recycled water in fountains, restaurants that serve water only on request, and hotels that give you the option of using your linens for a second night’s stay. 
  • Ask your teachers or school administrators to teach water conservation. 
  • Watch for and report broken, poorly timed or misaligned sprinklers around the city or along the highway.

For additional water conservation tips and information, visit